Disney finalises deal to acquire 21st Century Fox

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Disney finalises deal to acquire 21st Century Fox

Walt Disney will acquire some assets of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion, Bloomberg News reports.

The deal, which has been in the works for weeks and was confirmed early Thursday, will see Disney buying Fox's film and TV studio, the National Geographic and FX cable channels business, regional sports networks, global networks, including Star India, Fox's 30 percent stake in Hulu and its 39 percent stake in European pay TV giant Sky. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox's interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

The Competition and Markets Authority will continue to investigate the deal as a Murdoch-brokered takeover, pending Fox's Sky stake officially changing hands. One analyst said the sale was a sign that the Murdochs see the challenges that the entertainment industry has been dealing with, particularly cord cutting and competition from streaming video services, as increasingly hard to address. It is expected to be an all-stock transaction and Disney would assume some Fox debt.

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Industry insiders said the deal is a brilliant move by the Murdoch family since the traditional cable business is declining.

"This is the flawless time to be getting out". "Trying to get out now is absolutely the right move".

It's also important to spell out what Disney is not getting in the deal. Disney expects to launch its streaming services next year.

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One of the reasons Disney already dominates the entertainment landscape is because of big acquisitions under CEO Bob Iger - Pixar, Marvel and most recently Lucasfilm.

Fox could expand its broadcast operations, helped along by a Federal Communications Commission vote on Thursday altering and possibly killing the national limit on local television station ownership. The Wall Street Journal and CNBC reported in November that Comcast and Verizon had approached Fox about buying at least part of the company, providing the first signs of a bidding war.

"It seems highly likely", Wieser said. "There is value to be created on that basis alone".

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