Entertainment conglomerate, Walt Disney has announced its long awaited agreement with 21st Century Fox for a $52.4 billion deal that will change the face of the entertainment industry.
The deal has been rumored since Fox first announced its decision to sell its media and entertainment assets a few weeks ago. The decision sparked off a bidding war amongst companies looking to acquire Fox’s highly successful subsidiaries.
Since the deal’s inception, reports have hinted at Fox’s preference for Walt Disney’s bid. However, rival companies such as NBC owner, Comcast gave Disney a run for its money.
In a rather surprising turn of events, Comcast made the decision to withdraw from the running at the beginning of this week, thus giving Disney a clear shot at Fox’s treasures.
Disney’s new purchase includes Fox’s highly successful film and television studios as well as the company’s 39% stake in the satellite broadcaster, Sky.
Through Sky, Disney will finally be able to break its way into the European paid television market.
Additionally, Disney will also acquire Fox’s Star network through which it can expand its reach in the booming Indian market. The sale means that Fox frees itself from the woes of entertainment and will now concentrate solely on news.
After over 50 years in the media business, Murdoch believes that the time is ripe for the company to concentrate on his roots.
Murdoch began his career at the head of an Australian newspaper he inherited from his father. Over time he managed to expand that inheritance into one of the largest film and news empires in the world.
Thus perhaps it is apt that he has now decided to cut through the clutter and keep what he prizes most. The deal with Disney is certain to make Fox lighter in assets although its coffers will certainly be heavier.
According to the deal, Disney is paying 52.4 billion to acquire the assets.
However, Disney will also assume $13.7 billion in Fox debt as part of the agreement which pushes the total value of the deal over $66 billion.