Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 billion deal

Andrew Cummings
December 14, 2017

Greenfield believes that Disney adding Fox's movie studios "makes flawless sense" from a business perspective, but that it also carries with it meaningful regulatory risk considering Disney is already so dominant in that space, owning not just its titular studio but also others like Lucas Films, Marvel and Pixar.

Prior to the deal closing, Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox broadcasting network, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and some national sports networks into a new company that will be spun off to its shareholders.

It is expected that 21st Century Fox's ongoing bid to acquire the full shareholding of Sky will now be inherited by Disney.

The deal includes 20th Century Fox, a cable group that includes FX Networks, National Geographic and 300-plus worldwide channels, and 22 regional sports networks.

Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger, 66, has been set to exit his post in 2019, but amid the deal, he has agreed to extend his contract through the end of 2021.

Walt Disney Co shares fell $0.06 (-0.06%) in premarket trading Thursday. The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of this station.

Disney said it expects to see at least $2 billion in cost savings from efficiencies realized through the combination of businesses. One of the services would provide film and television entertainment, while the other would feature sports, including Disney's ESPN service.

Terms of the transaction also call for Disney to issue about 515 million new shares to 21st Century Fox shareholders.

For Iger, who previously acquired Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel, this is the biggest deal ever, and it is created to widen Disney's lead as the biggest content company. It also doubles Disney's stake in video-streaming service Hulu to 60 percent, giving it more reach to the growing group of consumers who don't use conventional TV services.

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