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January 2018


Has Mickey Mouse REALLY Captured Darth Vader? Or Has FOX Eaten The Mouse ?

In probably the most mind-boggling deal of the decade, on 14 Dec 2017, Rupert Murdoch confirmed to the world that he was selling most of 21st Century Fox, to the Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Co. has agreed to pay $52.4 billion to acquire much of the global empire that media baron Rupert Murdoch assembled over 30 years. Disney will also assume about $13.7 billion of net debt owed by fox. This effectively pegs the price at $ 66.1 billion.

The merger is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and shareholder approval. If approved, its likely to conclude in 2 years.

The $ 66 Billion Deal Will Take 18 To 24 Months To Conclude

"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," said Walt Disney Chairman & CEO Bob A. Iger.


Disney will get all of 21st Century's film and TV studios, cable entertainment networks and international TV business.

Disney will also acquire FX Networks, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India, and 21st Century Fox's part ownerships globally in National Geographic Partners, Hulu, Sky, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

If European regulators permit Fox to acquire all of Sky DTH's 61% public stake, Disney will also get this.


Murdoch will continue to run Fox News Channel, the FS1 sports network and the Fox broadcast network in the US.


Shareholders of 21st Century Fox will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share they hold. The price amounts to about $29.54 per Fox share, based on Disney's closing price on the day of the announcement.

Disney share were priced at $ 102 the same day. Disney will issue approximately 515 million new shares to 21st Century Fox shareholders, representing approximately a 25% stake in Disney

Fox Shareholders Will Get 25% Stake In Disney


The companies expect to complete the transaction in 12 to 18 months. The deal brings together huge assets in media and entertainment under the control of a single company. Hence, will it get past regulators, particularly in the USA ?

The Writers Guild of America West, a union that represents writers for television and movies, said it opposes the deal on the grounds that it would increase Disney's already sizeable power. It said: "The antitrust concerns raised by this deal are obvious and significant."

The US Department of Justice has moved court to block AT&T's $85.4bn buy out of Time Warner, fearing it will raise prices for consumers and competitors.

Should the deal be rejected by regulators, Disney will pay Fax a $2.5bn break-up fee.

Rupert Murdoch and his media have been aligned with President Trump, who has openly supported the deal. Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine reported that Trump called Murdoch ahead of the Disney deal to make sure that Fox News would not be among the assets sold.

"I know that the president spoke with Rupert Murdoch earlier today, congratulated him on the deal and thinks that, to use one of the President's favorite words, that this could be a great thing for jobs and certainly looks forward to and hoping to see a lot more of those," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.


India will be very significantly impacted, if Disney takes over 21st Century Fox.

Disney has been a mid-scale player in India, even after it acquired UTV Communications for ` 2,000 crore as well as kids channel Hungama TV from Ronnie Screwvala.

In contrast, Star India is a market leader, with more than 60 entertainment & sports channels in 8 languages & HotStar OTT. Star India also creates more than 17,000 hours of TV content every year.

21st Century Fax will also hand over to Disney, its 30% stake in TataSky DTH, stake in Hathway Cable & Broadband,

Star India is projected to have an EBITDA of US$ 1 Billion, by the time Disney concludes the purchase. Disney currently has just $ 150 million in annual sales in India.

Currently, The Walt Disney Company India is headed by Mahesh Samat, who is the MD of South Asia. Star India is led by Chairman & CEO Uday Shankar, who was recently elevated to President - 21st Century Fox Asia.