Disney has confirmed it’s to buy Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox in a $52bn deal that will create a global content and broadcasting giant.
As well as top franchises including X-Men, Avatar, The Simpsons, FX Networks and National Geographic, the deal gives Disney ownership of India’s Star network and at least a 38% shareholding in Sky.
The two companies say Fox will “seek to complete its planned acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own” prior to the close of Disney’s take-over.
Disney will also acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
The deal excludes the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network which will be spun off a newly listed company.
“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.
“Furthermore, I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world.”