Walt Disney acquires Fox in $52.4bn deal

Walt Disney acquires Fox in $52.4bn deal

Walt Disney acquires Fox in $52.4bn deal

Now it's official. The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to acquire big parts of 21st Century Fox in a deal worth $52.4 billion, valuing shares of Fox at around $40 apiece while they had traded Wednesday at $32.75.

As a result, Disney will acquire Fox's film and much of its TV operations for a price of over $52 billion in stock.

The deal announcement comes amid considerable interest for Fox from not just Disney, but also the likes of Comcast and Verizon. Iger will continue as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company through the end of calendar year 2021, at the request of both firms.

The combination solidifies Disney's position as the world's biggest traditional media company, bringing Fox's popular X-Men, Deadpool and "Planet of the Apes" franchises to a company that is already home to Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar's stable of animated films. Fox will retain Fox News, its basic broadcast network and its national sports channels.

The deal, which was announced this afternoon, will see Disney acquire the 39 per cent of Sky now owned by Fox and "full ownership" of the broadcaster when its bid for full control is completed.

"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 Iger. 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.

Also included in the deal are Fox's USA cable networks including FX and the National Geographic Channel as well as India's Star TV. It could also end up posing a significant business threat to Netflix, since Disney has show it wants to put more of its own original content on its own streaming service which is set for launch in 2019, vs. on its soon-to-be rival.

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