Early this Wednesday, March 20th, The Walt Disney Company officially acquired 20th Century Fox, in an agreement valued at USD 71,300 million. The merger between the two companies took place after sailing their sports networks in Mexico and Brazil, as ordered by the Telecommunications Federal Institute (IFT) and the Economic Defense Administrative Council (CADE).
‘It is an extraordinary and historic moment for us, which will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders’, as stated by Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, In addition, he said that ‘the combination of creative content wealth and talent of Disney and 21st Century Fox creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era”.
According to the company, Disney’s aim with this acquisition is to ‘increase its international footprint’ and to ‘expand its direct to consumer offer’. Disney+, new company’s OTT, is expected to be launched by the end of the year and will include the entire Disney films catalog in the future, as one of the ways to materialize the offer.
The sale had been announced in December 2017 and had both companies shareholders approval in July 2018. Since then, the merger needed to be approved by different countries regulatory bodies, which set conditions to avoid problems related to the market concentration and competition.
From now, Disney becomes the owner of 21st Century Fox entertainment assets, which include, its studio, Fox Searchlight Pictures, TV divisions of 20th Century Fox Television and FX Productions or the channels FX Networks and National Geographic, and others. Disney also acquires Fox’s interests in Endemol Shine Group, Tata Sky and Hulu, where it becomes the major shareholder, owning 60% of the OTT platform. Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox, will maintain the news and sports unit, Fox Corporation, which includes Fox News and Fox Sports 1.