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[WATCH] Disney to buy 21st Century Fox for $52.4bn

The deal would bring together two big Hollywood film studios and a number of broadcast channels in a $52.4bn agreement

14 December 2017, 5:30pm
Disney chief executive Bob Iger and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch (Photo: BBC)
Disney chief executive Bob Iger and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch (Photo: BBC)
Walt Disney Co has agreed to buy 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for a total of $52.4bn.

The deal includes Fox's 39% stake in satellite broadcaster Sky, and the 20th Century Fox film studio, Disney announced.

Fox's remaining assets, including Fox News and Sports, will form a new company.

The deal will bring together the 20th Century Fox Film studio behind movies such as X-Men, Ice Age and Avatar together with Disney’s film assets, which include Pixar, Marvel and the Star Wards maker LucasFilms.

The two are respectively the fourth and second biggest movie studios in Hollywood. Under the terms of the deal, Disney will also take on $13.7bn worth of debt from 21st Century Fox, making the total deal worth $66.1bn.

The deal is expected to take a year to complete and will be subject to approval by competition regulators both in the United States and in the EU.

Fox has also been trying to buy full control of Sky for the last year and the proposed £18.5bn takeover, is currently being scrutinised by the Competition and Markets Authority. Fox is said it expected the deal to be complete by the end of June last year.

Disney would then eventually own the whole of Sky as well.

Disney chief executive Bob Iger said that Disney was "incredibly excited" about the sale, and that it was an "opportunity to expand iconic franchises", including Avatar and Star Wars.

Disney owns Star Wars maker LucasFilm
Disney owns Star Wars maker LucasFilm
"May the Force be with us all," Iger said.

Iger, who was due to step down as Disney boss in July 2019, will now continue in the role until the end of 2021.

Fox owner Ruper Murdoch, now 86 years old, will still retain control of News Corp, the news publishing group that split away from 21st Century Fox in 2013 and which owns the Times and the Sunday newspaper.

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.”