After weeks of speculation and rumors, Disney announced on Thursday that they would be purchasing 21st Century Fox in a massive $52 billion deal.
“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,” said Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox, in a press release.
The deal will see Disney gain control of the rights of Fox’s film franchises, including Avatar, X-Men, and Fantastic Four, among others. Though the deal is expected to take over a year to process, this means that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to get a whole lot bigger as several of Marvel’s most popular characters and teams will now be available to join the MCU in future years.
In addition, Disney will acquire Fox’s creative television properties, such as Twentieth Century Fox Television and FX productions. The Fox Broadcasting Network, which includes Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network, will be separated into a new company.
Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger, who was expected to leave his position in 2019, will extend his contract through 2021 to oversee the acquisition. Iger previously oversaw Disney’s purchases of Lucasfilm, Pixar and Marvel, though this deal is the largest yet.
“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,” said Iger.
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