Walt Disney acquires 21st Century Fox for $52.4B in stock

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The internet has been full of rumors that entertainment company Walt Disney was planning to buy off 21st Century. Well, they finally did. Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox has today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Disney to acquire 21st Century Fox, for approximately $52.4 billion in stock (subject to adjustment).

Under this new development, Disney will also acquire the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses.

Immediately prior to the acquisition, 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that will be spun off to its shareholders.

Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of 21st Century Fox will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share they hold (subject to adjustment for certain tax liabilities as described below). The exchange ratio was set based on a 30-day volume weighted average price of Disney stock.

Disney will also assume approximately $13.7 billion of net debt of 21st Century Fox. The acquisition price implies a total equity value of approximately $52.4 billion and a total transaction value of approximately $66.1 billion (in each case based on the stated exchange ratio assuming no adjustment) for the business to be acquired by Disney, which includes consolidated assets along with a number of equity investments.

Disney says the acquisition of these complementary assets would allow it to create more appealing content, build more direct relationships with consumers around the world and deliver a more compelling entertainment experience to consumers wherever and however they choose.

“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 Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company in a press statement.

Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox said, the company is extremely proud of all that it has built at 21st Century Fox.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and 21st Century Fox have approved the transaction, which is subject to shareholder approval by 21st Century Fox and Disney shareholders, clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, a number of other non-United States merger and other regulatory reviews, and other customary closing conditions.

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Nixon Kanali
Kanali is a freelance tech journalist based in Nairobi. For product reviews, pitches, guest posts, or interviews drop me an e-mail nickcanali@gmail.com/nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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