LOS ANGELES (AP) — The board of directors for The Walt
Disney Company yesterday rejected a takeover bid by cable
television giant Comcast Corp., officials said.

The board noted that the current offer to acquire Disney by
swapping shares of both companies would undervalue Disney’s
holdings.

“We are committed to creating shareholder value now and in
the future and will carefully consider any legitimate proposal that
would accomplish that objective,” the Disney board said in a
statement released yesterday.

“In any proposal by Comcast, or any other company, the
board will consider and assess the value to be received in exchange
for the shares of Disney, and also the appropriate premium to
reflect the full value of Disney.”

Comcast made the surprise bid for Disney on Wednesday, hours
before the entertainment company was set to announce strong first
quarter earnings.

The bid was initially valued at $54 billion, but investors
jacked up the price of Disney stock beyond the Comcast offer.

Comcast also said it would assume $11.9 billion in debt from
Disney, which owns ABC, ESPN, movie studios and theme parks.

In its statement yesterday, Disney’s board of directors
said Comcast’s offer amounts to $3.60 less than market value
for each share of Disney stock.

“The deficit of value in Comcast’s proposal has
existed from the very first day after Comcast announced it, when
the deficit was $3.24 per Disney share or a total of $6.6
billion,” the statement read.

Disney and Comcast together had $45 billion in revenues last
year. If a deal had been reached to combine the companies, they
would have created the world’s biggest media company, edging
out Time Warner, which had $39.6 billion in revenues last year.

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