At 12:02 a.m. Eastern Time on March 20, 2019, The Walt Disney Company’s $71.3 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox will be complete. Disney has released an official statement to commemorate the occasion:
“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us – one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
The years-long merger, which was announced in December 2017, includes Fox’s film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family, and Fox Animation; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions, and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group. Earlier today, Fox completed the spin-off of its news, sports, and broadcast businesses into a new company, Fox Corporation, its shares open on the Nasdaq at $41.55.
While the fan chatter around the merger has mostly been rumors about Fox/Marvel characters appearing in Disney’s MCU, according to Disney, the merger was mainly to enable the company to accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy and expand its global presence. Disney is preparing to launch its streaming service, Disney+, later this year. The service will be the only place to stream all of Disney’s theatrically released movies starting with Captain Marvel. It will also house the back catalog of all Disney films soon after launch. And, last but not least, the service will have original shows like the Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.
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