For weeks, the internet’s been abuzz about Disney potentially acquiring most of 21st Century Fox. Now, the massive conglomerate has revealed that the deed has been done.
According to Disney, 21st Century Fox will spin off Fox Broadcasting network stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2, and Big Ten Network to its shareholders. After that’s done, Disney will acquire the remainder of 21st Century Fox for around $52.4 billion in stock — which is a is a figure that’s expected to change slightly. This means that Disney will own 20th Century Fox Studios and 20th Century Fox Television.
In addition to this, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger will remain until 2021 to continue to provide vision and leadership during this transitional period (he was originally hoping to retire earlier).
“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.”
Of note here are the big properties that Disney is set to acquire, and despite the doubts we initially had, it sounds like the property Fantastic Four is included in this deal (among other predicted properties like Avatar, Deadpool, and X-Men, as indicated in the press released:
“The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love. The addition of Avatar to its family of films also promises expanded opportunities for consumers to watch and experience storytelling within these extraordinary fantasy worlds. Already, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort can experience the magic of Pandora—The World of Avatar, a new land inspired by the Fox film franchise that opened earlier this year. And through the incredible storytelling of National Geographic—whose mission is to explore and protect our planet and inspire new generations through education initiatives and resources—Disney will be able to offer more ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it.”
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