UPDATE: Disney officially announced the completion of their acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s film and TV assets Tuesday. The acquisition will become effective at 12:02 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 20, 2019
“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
Our original report follows.
$71.3 billion dollars later, Disney has all but completed its buyout of 21st Century Fox.
Announced today, the deal will become official at 12.02am ET on March 20. An official business statement reads:
“Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21CF”) (NASDAQ: TFCFA, TFCF) announced that it has today completed the distribution of all issued and outstanding shares of Fox Corporation (“FOX”) common stock to 21CF stockholders (other than holders of the shares held by subsidiaries of 21CF) on a pro rata basis (the “Distribution”). 21CF and FOX are now each a standalone, publicly traded company. FOX Class A common stock and FOX Class B common stock are now listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbols “FOXA” and “FOX,” respectively. 21CF Class A common stock and 21CF Class B common stock, which were formerly listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “FOXA” and “FOX,” respectively, are now listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “TFCFA” and “TFCF,” respectively.”
Effectively, while Disney owns 21st Century Fox, a new company, Fox Corp. will continue to operate independently. Fox Corp. will comprise Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, its studio lot and more. It’s through Fox Corp. that the Murdoch-owned company hopes to continue to own and broadcast The Simpsons.
While we know the key elements of the deal, it remains unclear what the precise future of many of Fox’s properties – including X-Men, Avatar and Die Hard – will be in the Disney era. We do know that Marvel Studios will control the X-Men, whatever form they take, that Disney plans to continue making R-rated Marvel movies, and that Hulu will now be offered internationally.
Deadpool writer and star Ryan Reynolds summed up the confusion fairly succinctly on his Twitter account earlier today:
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) March 19, 2019
More importantly, there’s no word on what job losses might be incurred by the buyout, with estimates pointing to as many as 4,000 Fox jobs being put at risk by the deal.
The acquisition was originally announced in 2017 for a price of $52.4 billion. However, rival bids from Comcast raised the purchase price to $71.3 billion.
At the time of the first announcement, we said the buyout would crown Disney as the most powerful movie studio of all time.
Joe Skrebels is IGN’s UK Deputy Editor, and he thinks it’s finally time to see Willem Dafoe as Wolverine. Follow him on Twitter.
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