Walt Disney has confirmed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets, which including film and television.
The deal worth £39 billion ($52.4 billion), is one of the most historic mergers ever in the media lanscape. Disney’s CEO, Robert A. Iger, has postponed his retirement from July 2019 to 2021 end, so the integration can be completed.
“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 Iger.
“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.”
21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch said, “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. 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.”
As well as 21st Century Fox’s film and television studio, Disney will now take control of Star TV India. Disney already runs sports network ESPN India, which is currently a JV with Sony Pictures Networks. As well as Star TV, Disney will own Sky channels in the UK, FX, National Geographic channels and digital platform, Hulu.