There’s much more to Disney than just a mouse called Mickey, and there has been for a long time. In fact, the Walt Disney Company is kind of taking over the world.
It not only owns Pixar, Marvel, ESPN, A&E, Lucasfilm and a whole binch of other mega companies, but it’s just been announced that Disney has been given the green light to spend $71 billion – over £54 billion – to buy Fox.
That means two of the biggest film and television companies in the world will be merging to create what will by far and large be the biggest film and television company in the world.
Shareholders of both companies today gave the go-ahead for the move and why wouldn’t they? Disney will reportedly purchase a number of Fox’s assets – including Fox News and Fox Business for $38/£28 a share.
Disney was actually forced to raise its offer for the network, after Comcast started a bidding war by offering $65 billion (£49.5bn) for the Fox assets.
Disney must have really wanted it, though, because after they upped their offer Comcast dropped out, purportedly to instead focus on its battle with Fox to fully acquire Sky. It’s all a bit confusing, to be honest, but where there’s money involved…
Everyone’s favourite media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, who’s the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and who already owns a stake in Sky, said: “Combining the 21CF businesses with Disney and establishing new Fox will unlock significant value for our shareholders.
“We are grateful to our shareholders for approving this transaction. I want to thank all of our executives and colleagues for their enormous contributions in building 21st Century Fox over the past decades.
“With their help, we expect the enlarged Disney and new Fox companies will be pre-eminent in the entertainment and media industries.”
Chairman and chief executive officer of Disney, Robert A. Iger, also expressed his delight at being given the go-ahead.
“We’re incredibly pleased that shareholders of both companies have granted approval for us to move forward, and are confident in our ability to create significant long-term value through this acquisition of Fox’s premier assets,” he said.
“We remain grateful to Rupert Murdoch and to the rest of the 21st Century Fox board for entrusting us with the future of these extraordinary businesses, and look forward to welcoming 21st Century Fox’s stellar talent to Disney and ultimately integrating our businesses to provide consumers around the world with more appealing content and entertainment options.”
Whether that means Disney characters will start appearing in Marvel movies or start hosting Fox News is at the current time unknown, but it would definitely improve the latter if they did.
On a more serious note, it’s also been reported, that the merger could bring about heavy job losses for both firms.