Walt Disney Co. confirmed Thursday that it is buying most of the assets of 21st Century Fox for a whopping total of $52.4 billion.
As expected, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) said the deal includes Fox's 39% stake in UK satellite broadcaster Sky and the 21st Century Fox film studio. Disney is also taking a "controlling stake" in Hulu, the multi-network OTT video service, as part of the deal. (See What If Disney & Comcast Split for Fox?)
21st Century Fox intends to retain and spin off its Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network and its film studio lot to form a new company.
Rumors about a possible Fox deal with Disney have been swirling round for much of November and December. (See Fed Watch: AT&T, Net Neutrality & More.)
Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of 21st Century Fox will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share they hold. Disney is also taking on $13.7 billion of Fox's net debt.
Fox's Rupert Murdoch will retain control of News Corp as part of the deal. Bob Iger, meanwhile, has agreed to continue as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company through the end of calendar year 2021.
Prior to the close of the transaction, 21st Century Fox will seek to complete its planned acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own. Disney says it expects to close the Fox acquisition by June 30, 2018, assuming the deal clears anti-trust review by the US Justice Dept.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading