Disney to buy 21st Century Fox for $52.4 Billion
The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox have announced that they have entered into a 'definitive agreement' for Disney to acquire 21st Century Fox, including the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses, for approximately $52.4 billion in stock.
According to Disney, the deal will allow Disney to ‘create more appealing content, build more direct relationships with consumers around the world and deliver a more compelling entertainment experience to consumers wherever and however they choose,’ which hints at the company’s desire to compete with Netflix with its own streaming service.
Immediately prior to the acquisition, 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that will be spun off to its shareholders.
The acquisition will extensively increase Disney’s portfolio of movie franchises which will now include Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool – thus meaning they can unite with the rest of Disney’s Marvel family. Disney will also acquire the rights to the original Star Wars, along with the distribution rights to the first six films in the Star Wars saga. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’re honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings. The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.”
“We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry,” said Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox. “Furthermore, I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world. I’m grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none.”
At the request of both 21st Century Fox and the Disney Board of Directors, Iger has agreed to continue as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company through the end of calendar year 2021.
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