Walt Disney have announced plans to purchase 21st Century Fox.
A statement on the Walt Disney Company website confirmed the two companies have entered into an agreement to purchase the 20th Century Fox Film and Television studios, as well as cable and international television businesses. The deal will cost Disney approximately $52.4 billion in stock.
Immediately prior to the deal going through, Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Business Network and News Channel, as well as FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network, into a new company.
With the movie and TV rights, Disney will now gain access to the Avatar franchise and have the opportunity to reunite X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with their Marvel Comics counterparts, meaning that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may now get to see the those characters integrated into the existing Avengers story. On the television side, the acquirement of Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21 mean shows like The Simpsons and Modern Family will now come under the Disney banner.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of Disney, said;
“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. 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.”
Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of Fox, made clear his pride at what has been achieved by his company.
“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. 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.”
Iger will carry on in his role as Chairman and CEO, at the request of both Fox and the Board of Directors at Disney.