May 25, 2018 Last Updated 8:55 AM, May 25, 2018
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Walt Disney Buys Murdoch's Fox For $52bn

Disney's long-standing chief executive Bob Iger struck the deal with Rupert Murdoch Disney's long-standing chief executive Bob Iger struck the deal with Rupert Murdoch Image sourced at bbc.com
Published in International News
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Andrew Neil tells us five things the $52.4bn (£39bn) tie-up could mean.

Walt Disney has agreed to buy the bulk of 21st Century Fox's business for $52.4bn (£39bn), in a deal both companies said position them to compete in the rapidly changing media industry.

The purchase includes Fox's film and television studios, as well as its 39% stake in satellite broadcaster Sky.

Fox will form a news-focused company with its remaining assets.

The move is a sharp shift for 86-year-old Fox owner Rupert Murdoch after more than half a century of media expansion.

Mr Murdoch turned a single Australian newspaper he inherited from his father at the age of 21 into one of the world's largest news and film empires.

He said the break-up makes sense amid new threats from online advertising and competitors who are streaming entertainment into homes via the internet.

Fox shareholders, who include the Murdochs, will get a 25% stake in the larger Disney.

"With today's announcement, we launch the next great leg of our journey," Rupert Murdoch said on Thursday in a call for investors.

He added later: "Are we retreating? Absolutely not."

Disney will scoop up Fox's movie and television studios, regional sports network and international holdings, among other investments.

The move adds to Disney's back catalogue high-grossing films such as the original Star Wars movies, the Marvel superhero pictures, Avatar and Deadpool, as well as TV hits such as Modern Family and The Simpsons.

It expands Disney's offerings with the FX and National Geographic cable channels, and Fox's regional sports network in the US.

The purchase also extends Disney's global reach, adding media company Star India and Fox's interests in Sky plc and Tata Sky to its portfolio.

Disney will also get majority control of the video streaming service Hulu, which is also partially owned by Comcast and Time Warner.

Disney will assume $13.7bn in Fox debt as part of the stock deal, taking the total value of the transaction to more than $66bn.

 

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