Disney gives a thumbs down to Comcast offer

MUMBAI: It all began on 11 February when America's cable TV powerhouse Comcast made an unsolicited bid to The Walt Disney Company to merge the two companies in a tax-free transaction worth $ 66 billion.

The drama finally ended yesterday when Disney announced that it had rejected the unsolicited takeover offer from Comcast.

In a media report, Disney's board said that it had full confidence in the business, financial and creative direction of the company under the leadership of Michael Eisner. The board also said that the current offer to acquire Disney by swapping shares of both companies would undervalue Disney's holdings and that Comcast's offer amounts to $3.60 less than the market value for each share of Disney stock.

After Disney made its decision clear, Comcast released an official statement saying, "Our proposal to acquire The Walt Disney Company reflects a full and generous valuation based upon Disney's prospects and performance over a long period of time, representing a significant premium over Disney's unaffected share price during any relevant measurement period over the last three years. We maintain the belief that our merger proposal represents a sound and compelling proposition for both sets of shareholders."

Now that the merger is not happening, all those talks about Microsoft being a prospective suitor for the Mouse House remains just that - talks. The software company owns 7.4 per cent of Comcast and would have eventually ended up controlling about four per cent of the world's largest media company if Comcast's bid had succeeded.

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