Disney Acquires 21st Century Fox in $52.4 Billion Deal

The Walt Disney Company has finalized a deal to acquire 21st Century Fox for $52.4 Billion in stock, the two companies announced this morning.

As part of the deal, popular properties including the X-MenAvatar, and The Simpsons join Disney's already massive portfolio. What this means is that the X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four can now be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, should Disney and Marvel Studios decide to, of course. Disney now owns the film rights to all of its Marvel superheroes with the exception of Spider-Man and Venom, which are owned by Sony, although for the time being the two studios are playing nicely with Spider-Man being a part of the MCU.

Superheroes aside, Disney now owns Fox's film division including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, and Fox 2000. Fox's television divison including Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions, and Fox21 are also now under Disney control as well. Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network are not included in the deal, however, as they have been separated from 21st Century Fox and merged together to form a newly listed company that will be sold off to its shareholders. Disney has also acquired Fox's 30 percent stake in Hulu, which brings their share of the streaming service to a controlling 60 percent.

“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, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox. “Furthermore, I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world. I’m grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none.”

“When considering this strategic acquisition, it was important to the Board that Bob remain as Chairman and CEO through 2021 to provide the vision and proven leadership required to successfully complete and integrate such a massive, complex undertaking,” said Orin C. Smith, Lead Independent Director of the Disney Board. “We share the belief of our counterparts at 21st Century Fox that extending his tenure is in the best interests of our company and our shareholders, and will be critical to Disney’s ability to effectively drive long-term value from this extraordinary acquisition.”

Full details of the purchase can be found in Disney's official press release.

Matt Rodriguez
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