The Walt Disney Company has announced that it would be buying the film and TV assets owned by 21st Century Fox in a deal worth $52.4 billion. This acquisition will include Fox’s TV and film studios, cable networks such as National Geographic an FX, and international TV businesses. However, the deal does not include Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network, all of which will remain under the control of Rupert Murdoch.
Disney’s current CEO Bob Iger, 66, will continue with his role as the CEO and chairman through 2021. In an interview with Good Morning America, Iger stated that James Murdoch will assist with this transition as Disney buys Fox and Iger will “[discuss] whether there is a role for him or not at our company.”
“This acquisition reflects a changing media landscape, increasingly defined by transformative technology and evolving consumer expectations,” Iger said in a Thursday call with analysts. “Today’s empowered consumers want more—more compelling high-quality entertainment, more access to content, more choice and more convenience.”
Additionally, thousands of old movies and television titles owned by Fox could be used to stock Disney’s streaming service.
According to Disney, the company has to secure approvals from regulators in Washington and in other countries, which may not allow the deal to close until sometime in 2019. Once the transaction is complete, Rupert Murdoch and his family will become the second largest shareholders in Disney, with an approximate stake of 4.4 percent.
With this sale, Fox shareholders will get 0.2745 shares for every share, valuing Fox stock at $29.54. Shares of 21st Century Fox are down by half a percent, while Disney stock is down nine-tenths of a percent.
During his call with analysts, Iger retorted that this deal has taken away the focus from their Thursday night release of the movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The film is supposed to have a $425 million opening at the box office this weekend, which would make it the biggest movie of the year.