Disney Just Bought Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Assets
Two entertainment heavweights are about to combine after The Walt Disney Co. put down a whopping $US52.4 billion ($AUD68.3 billion) all stock deal to acquire 21st Century Fox and other assets of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
The deal is a major move by Disney to strengthen it's TV and film businesses during a time with major changes and new competitors entering the media landscape.
The agreement between Disney and 21st Century Fox was revealed overnight means that Disney will assume $US13.7 billion ($AUD18 billion) of Fox's debt and they will acquire Fox's film and TV studio, the National Geographic and FX cable channels, regional sports networks, international networks, Fox's 30 percent stake in streaming service Hulu and the 39 percent stake in Sky pay TV.
The Murdoch's will maintain control over Fox Sports, Fox News and Fox Television Stations.
This is the biggest deal set out by Disney in its history and is set to save both companies billions of dollars. It also means that James and Lachlan Murdoch will become owners of around 5% of Disney stock.
"The acquisition of this stellar collection of business 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 Bob Iger, Disney's CEO.
"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."
Murdoch has also spoken out about the deal which he hopes will turn the two separate companies into "one of the greatest companies in 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 Murdoch.
"I'm grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and it committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none."