Twenty-First Century Fox has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for the Rupert Murdoch-owned company to be acquired by Disney for around $68 billion in stock.
The 21st Century Fox assets include the Twentieth Century Fox Film and TV 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.
At the request of both 21st Century Fox and Disney’s board of directors, Robert Iger has agreed to continue as chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company through the end of 2021.
Murdoch said he was “extremely proud” of what 21st Century Fox has become, and said the deal will unlock even more value for shareholders.
“Furthermore, I’m convinced that this combination [with Disney], under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world,” he said.
“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.”
Iger said the acquisition reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before.
“We’re honoured 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,” he said.
“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.”