The news we all knew was coming is finally here. Disney is officially buying 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion.
The Walt Disney Company confirmed this morning that they have agreed an all-stock acquisition deal for the corporation, as well as obtaining other assets from media conglomerate Rupert Murdoch’s empire, whilst taking on $13.7 billion of Fox’s credit insured debt.
A key part of the deal is that Disney’s CEO and chairman Bob Iger has had his contract extended for 24 months.
The 66-year-old executive – who was eventually meant to complete his run heading up the entertainment group in 2019 – said: “The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before.
“We’re honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings. The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.”
The question on everyone’s lips is what will happen to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fox owned the rights to comic book superheroes such as Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and X-Men.
Phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will come to an end in May 2019, concluding with the fourth Avengers movie, which is yet untitled.
In 2009, Disney bought 5,000 of Marvel’s characters in a deal worth $4 billion.
Deadpool 2, Gambit, Dark Phoenix, Multiple Man, New Mutants and X-Force are currently in the works or in post-production from Marvel.
With the new deal going through, it’s not yet known how Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will work on.
Media mogul Murdoch, 86, strongly believes that under Iger’s guise Disney’s acquisition of Fox will make it “one of the greatest companies in the world”.
He said: “We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry.
“Furthermore, I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world. I’m grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none.”