Walt Disney Co to buy film, television from Twenty-First Century Fox for $52.4 billion

Vastavam web: Walt Disney Co has struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc for $52.4 billion in stock, giving the world’s largest entertainment company an arsenal of shows and movies to combat growing digital rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.Shares of Fox, which have surged more than 30 percent since talk of the deal surfaced in early November, climbed 4.1 percent in midday trading. Disney shares rose 2.2 percent after the company said it expects to buy up to $20 billion of its own shares to offset dilution from the all-stock deal. Disney will also assume about $13.7 billion of Fox debt in the deal.

Under the deal, expected to close in 12 to 18 months, Disney acquires 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, its cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses.That brings marquee franchises like “Avatar” and “The Simpsons” inside the Mouse House, on top of Iger’s previous purchases, including Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm.Disney’s global footprint expands with the acquisition of Fox’s international satellite assets, including Star TV network in India and a stake in European pay-TV provider Sky Plc and sports rights in several countries.
The new pipeline of shows and movies will help Disney battle technology companies spending billions of dollars on programming shown online that is siphoning audiences away from traditional TV networks.