The Disney-Fox Deal is Officially Complete

22 March, 2019, 11:44 | Author: Heather Diaz
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Walt Disney Co closed its $71 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's film and television assets on Wednesday. Now, the company is full steam ahead on streaming. It also acquired Star India, nabbed a 60 percent stake in Hulu and a 30 percent cut of Tata Sky, and scooped up various worldwide Fox Networks Groups.

In the works since the last months of 2017, the market shaking deal wrapped up by Disney CEO Bob Iger and now Disney's largest shareholder Rupert Murdoch saw Fox 2.0 name former House Speaker Paul Ryan to its board yesterday as the organization prepared for its new and leaner life as an "independent public company".

"Combining Disney's and 21st Century Fox's wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the pre-eminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era".

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The deal, which took close to 18 months to close, will see Disney acquire Fox's vast portfolio of TV, film, production and digital assets including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, FX Productions, National Geographic Partners, Star India and Fox's interests in Hulu and Endemol Shine Group.

Disney is now in the process of selling off Fox's 22 regional sports networks as decreed by the U.S. Justice Department. As part of the acquisition, Disney is expected to cut "thousands" of jobs as it eliminates duplicate jobs as part of the massive the restructuring, according to multiple reports.

Meanwhile, Fox Corp. - the parts of 21st Century Fox that are not part of the deal, including Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting - started trading on the Nasdaq under the "FOX" and "FOXA" tickers on Tuesday. It has said it plans to keep operating Hulu for general programming, with its own Disney Plus service offering more family-focused fare.

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Now that the houses of Fox and Disney have joined, superhero fans are chomping at the bit to see the Marvel characters previously owned by Fox join their compadres owned by Disney. Blue Sky Studios and their output are also included in the package, with the Ice Age and Rio films, Robots, Horton Hears a Who!

Iger said he has a "deep appreciation" for how an acquisition like Disney's impacts people involved both personally and professionally.

"It will blend library product with original content under these five brand banners and we are confident it will be a compelling consumer proposition", Iger said.

No pricing has been disclosed for Disney Plus.

Disney emphasised that the transaction is created to help the company "increase its worldwide footprint" and "expand its direct-to-consumer offerings".

With Fox's entertainment assets in their hands, Disney's library is now stronger than ever before.

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