Disney To Become A Mega Hollywood Powerhouse With Fox Acquisition

Disney balloons

Disney itself will acquire a selection of 21st Century Fox's film and television studios, cable channels (such as FX and National Geographic) and global television businesses as the proposed acquirer bolsters its content, technology and worldwide footprint in order to better position itself against increased competition in the entertainment industry from technology companies like Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and other streaming services.

Disney chief Bob Iger said he will be working with Fox CEO James Murdoch on integrating the two companies.

It's the biggest acquisition in Disney's history, and a surprising sale for the 86-year-old media mogul who has kept a close watch over a business empire he spent decades building.

Disney will also assume about $13.7 billion of net debt from Fox. He'll see the other $2 billion once regulators approve the deal. The rise of alternative forms of online entertainment, from Netflix to Snapchat, have led millions of once-loyal pay-TV subscribers to cut the cord, forcing TV companies to band together to ensure their long-term survival.

Disney, known for the likes of Mickey Mouse would take over Sky News under the deal. Disney, the owner of ESPN, is acquiring regional Fox networks that air local basketball and baseball games, giving the company an unprecedented amount of rights to sports programming.

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In addition, popular entertainment properties including X-Men, Avatar, The Simpsons, FX Networks and National Geographic to join Disney's portfolio.

Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox rose 3.22 percent to trade at 33.38 dollars apiece while Disney shares dropped 0.17 percent in early trading.

It is expected that 21st Century Fox's ongoing bid to acquire the full shareholding of Sky will now be inherited by Disney. The 20 per cent share that Murdoch had in Tata Sky, will also go to Disney. Comcast - the cable giant that owns NBCUniversal - Verizon Communications Inc. and Sony Corp. all expressed interest in parts of the company.

Disney will also acquire Fox's FX and National Geographic cable channels, its regional sports network, and Fox's interests in streaming service Hulu and the United Kingdom satellite TV provider Sky. In March, he said he was committed to leaving the company in July 2019.

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