As of 12:02 a.m. March 20, Disney officially owns 21st Century Fox — all of its affiliated businesses, franchises and content. With this transaction, Disney acquired $19.8 billion in cash and assumed approximately $19.2 billion in debt of 21st Century Fox. According to Disney, the deal’s total equity value is approximately $71 billion. This announcement comes one year after Disney made public its plans for a merger with 21st Century Fox.
“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.”
The acquisition includes 21st Century Fox’s renowned film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family and Fox Animation; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group. Disney and 21st Century Fox entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice last year under which Disney will divest 21st Century Fox’s Regional Sports Networks.
“The acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s iconic collection of businesses and franchises will allow Disney to provide more appealing high-quality content and entertainment options to meet growing consumer demand; increase its international footprint; and expand its direct-to-consumer offerings, which include ESPN+ for sports fans, the highly-anticipated Disney+ streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019; and Disney and 21st Century Fox’s combined ownership stake in Hulu,” Disney wrote in a press release.
21st Century Fox released this statement Tuesday evening, stating that after selling most of its subsidiaries, 21st Century Fox and Fox are now both standalone, publicly traded companies.
21st Century Fox completed a spin-off of a portfolio of 21st Century Fox’s news, sports and broadcast businesses, including the FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, FOX Broadcasting Company, FOX Sports, FOX Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network, and certain other assets and liabilities, into Fox Corporation.
Disney owned Pixar Studios, Marvel and Star Wars before this acquisition.
Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $59.4 billion in its Fiscal Year 2018.
Variety reported that while Disney and Fox Corp. settle into their new roles, employees at both companies are bracing for the impact of large-scale layoffs to come in Burbank and Century City.
Layoffs of employees could reach up to 4,000 positions, according to Variety.