Tags: disney | fox | deal | murdoch

CNBC: $60 Billion Disney, Fox Deal Expected to Be Announced Thursday

By    |   Wednesday, 13 December 2017 01:12 PM

A mega deal between Disney and Fox will be announced on Thursday, according to a new report on CNBC.

The $60 billion-plus pact will see Disney acquire key entertainment and sports assets from 21st Century Fox, including its film and TV studio.

Fox shareholders would hold 25 percent of the new Disney, the sources told CNBC. A deal could be announced as early as Thursday, as CNBC reported earlier this week.

But there is not expected to be an announcement regarding the management of the new company, the sources said.

The CNBC report follows a Monday announcement that Comcast has opted out of its pursuit for Fox.

The Financial Times also said Disney-Fox talks about the price were continuing.

A spokesman for Fox declined comment. A Disney spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Not all of Fox's assets will go to Disney. The company will retain Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, and Fox Sports 1, which will be reconstituted into a new, independent company. According to CNBC, that would be worth roughly $10 a share. As part of the deal, Fox shareholders will get a stake in the new company, along with shares of Disney, Reuters explained.

The pact is expected to dramatically reshape the entertainment business, eliminating one of the six major studios and giving Disney access to a vast library of shows and movies as it tries to launch a streaming competitor to Netflix. Under CEO Bob Iger, Disney has established a reputation for spending big to nab major entertainment companies, shelling out billions for the likes of Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm.

The Fox assets in play are worth almost $50 billion, according to Alan Gould, an analyst at Rosenblatt Securities Inc., and could translate into a 25 percent stake in Disney if they agree to a stock deal. That would potentially reduce the tax liability for Fox shareholders, including the Murdochs.

The talks are occurring against the backdrop of a U.S. Justice Department suit to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. The government has said the merger of a large TV distributor and producer would stifle competition and hurt consumers.

A deal with Disney might overcome some of those challenges. Disney doesn’t sell TV services directly to consumers in the U.S. Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger has had success acquiring movie studios such as Pixar Animation and Lucasfilm Ltd. and a Fox deal could give Disney a controlling stake in the Hulu video-streaming service.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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21st Century Fox and Disney are on track for a Thursday deal announcement, sources familiar with the deal said.
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2017-12-13
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 01:12 PM
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