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US: Disney and Fox shareholders approve US$71.3b merger

 |  July 29, 2018

Fox shareholders on Friday, July 27, approved the sale of its entertainment assets to Disney for US$71.3 billion, reported Bloomberg. Both companies’ investors reportedly approved in separate votes at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan.

Regulators in more than a dozen countries must still give their approval.

Fox agreed to Disney’s bidearlier in June and rejected Comcast’s US$65 million cash offer. 21st Century Fox is home to popular franchises such as X-Men, Deadpool, The Simpsons, Ice Age, and Planet of the Apes. Disney could benefit from Fox’s entertainment portfolio.

Disney’s chief executive, Robert Iger, has staked his legacy on this deal, and to gain control of Fox he had to fend off an aggressive play by Comcast. Mr. Iger and Mr. Murdoch originally agreed to a deal in December. After months of maneuvering, Comcast, the Philadelphia-based cable giant, topped Disney’s original bid in June, but Mr. Iger returned almost immediately with a much higher offer that mixed cash and stock. Mr. Murdoch and the Fox board quickly accepted.

“One of the most exciting aspects of our Fox acquisition is that it will allow us to greatly accelerate our direct-to-consumer strategy,” Mr. Iger said when he announced the deal in December. “We believe creating a direct-to-consumer relationship is vital to the future of our media businesses, and it’s our highest priority.”

Full Content: The New York Times

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