Disney to buy 21st Century Fox' assets for 52.4 bln USD in stock

Xinhua Published: 2017-12-15 00:56:06
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The Walt Disney Company announced Thursday a deal to acquire many parts of Twenty-First Century Fox for 52.4 billion U.S. dollars in stock.

Walt Disney Co. announced 14 December 2017 it will purchase 21st Century Fox's businesses containing Sky Television of which Fox owns 39 per cent and entertainment activities of 20th Century Fox film studios in a deal valued at 52.4 billion USD in stock, and the total transaction being valued at some 66.1 billion USD. [Photo: IC]

Walt Disney Co. announced 14 December 2017 it will purchase 21st Century Fox's businesses containing Sky Television of which Fox owns 39 per cent and entertainment activities of 20th Century Fox film studios in a deal valued at 52.4 billion USD in stock, and the total transaction being valued at some 66.1 billion USD. [Photo: IC]

The deal has a total value of approximately 66.1 billion dollars, with Disney assuming 13.7 billion dollars of Fox's net debt.

The transaction will include Fox's film and television studios, cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses. 

In addition, popular entertainment properties including X-Men, Avatar, The Simpsons, FX Networks and National Geographic to join Disney's portfolio. 

The acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment properties will strengthen Disney's repertoire which already has some popular titles including its animated features, "Marvel" and "Star Wars" films.

The deal came four months after Disney announced its plans to launch a branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019 and remove its movies from Netflix.

Disney has not hinted on the subscription price of its upcoming streaming service but said it will be substantially below Netflix's price, gaining a competitive edge against the latter, according to media reports. 

Walt Disney chief executive Bob Iger (L) and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch [Photo: IC]

Walt Disney chief executive Bob Iger (L) and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch [Photo: IC]

Bob Iger, Disney's chairman and CEO, told media that the new company doesn't expect to reach the "scale of Netflix quickly," but aims to be a major competitor.

He will remain his current post through the end of 2021, at the request of the board of directors of both companies. 

Meanwhile, immediately prior to the acquisition, Twenty-First 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.

Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox rose 3.22 percent to trade at 33.38 dollars apiece while Disney shares dropped 0.17 percent in early trading.

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