The Walt Disney Company announced that it has signed an amended acquisition agreement with 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion.
This news comes after Comcast made an aggressive $65 billion all-cash offer last week for the 21st Century Fox assets, forcing Disney to increase its initial $52.4 billion purchase for the Fox acquisition.
For movie fans, as of now this means that presumed plans to reintegrate characters like Fantastic Four and X-Men (including Deadpool) into Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe remain intact, as does the total acquisition of Fox’s distribution rights to the original 1977 Star Wars for Lucasfilm. Disney will also now control the rights to such current Fox cinematic franchises as Avatar, Planet of the Apes, Alien, Predator, Die Hard, Kingsman, Ice Age and Night at the Museum. On the TV side some titles they will control include The Simpsons, Family Guy, Legion, American Horror Story, The Orville, NBC’s This Is Us and ABC’s Modern Family. Oh, Firefly fans have high hopes that this will lead to a renewal of that franchise too. In 2017, Disney’s Buena Vista held a dominant 21.8% of the movie market share, while 20th Century Fox held 12%
Disney believes the transaction has a clear and timely path to regulatory approval. Both companies have spent the past six months working toward meeting all conditions necessary for closing. In the amended agreement, Disney has increased the scope of its commitment to take actions required to secure regulatory approval.
The amended agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of Disney and 21st Century Fox. The transaction is subject to approval by Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders, clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, a number of other non-United States merger and other regulatory reviews, and other customary closing conditions. Both companies had been scheduled to hold shareholder meetings on the previously announced transaction on July 10. In light of the amended agreement, the companies are required to prepare updated SEC filings and proxy materials which will be sent to shareholders. A new date for the shareholder meetings will be announced.
What do fans think? Is Disney getting TOO big, and will have too much control over our entertainment? Leave your comments below!