Walt Disney has agreed to buy the bulk of 21st Century Fox's business for $52.4bn, in a deal, both companies said position them to compete in the rapidly changing media industry.
The $52.4 billion acquisition is one of the largest in media history and brings Fox—which controls everything from The Simpsons to the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool—into the same house as Pixar, Star Wars, and most of the non-X-Men parts of the Marvel universe.
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 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.
Not included in the acquisition: Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, and the FS1 sports cable channel. In the news release announcing the Disney deal, Mr. Murdoch said he would spin those businesses and a handful of other properties, including the 20th Century Fox lot in Century City, which Disney is not buying, into a newly listed company.
Disney has been planning to launch its own, currently unnamed, streaming service in 2019. The company has already said that its Marvel and Star Wars films will find a home there, along with all a handful of new series that live in those universes.
Disney will have a heavy competition to handle in the online streaming world but its looks like its armoring up. Only time will tell, how the whole deal will go.
Until then, all hail to the new Superhero Media!
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