Sky stake changes hands in £39 billion Disney-21st Century Fox deal

Disney Fox

The $50 billion deal would mean Disney would gain acess to properties like X-men Avatar and Planet of the Apes

"We are excited by the possibilities of the new Fox, which is already a leader many times over".

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch will sign over Fox's 39% stake in broadcaster Sky to Disney, along with a host of other "significant assets" including "the studios that produce the blockbuster Marvel superhero pictures and the Avatar franchise, and TV shows such as The Simpsons", says Reuters.

Disney will also be "flowing" more content to Hulu, and managing the digital platform will be "more clear, more efficient and more effective" with one company having control, rather than equal partners.

Disney is responding by launching its own streaming services and, with Fox's television and filmed assets, it will become a powerful player.

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Iger has no confirmed he will stay on as chairman and CEO through to the end of 2021 in order to oversee the integration of the two businesses.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority is expected to publish its provisional findings in January. Will the combined company adopt Disney's film strategy, which means a lot fewer art-house pictures, such as 2014 Oscar victor "12 Years a Slave", and more blockbuster sequels like "Avatar?"

The rest of the global media industry's major players will have to look to their own positions after this deal, which raises the prospect of a handful of giants - Comcast, owner of NBC Universal; the combined Disney and Fox and AT&T, assuming it is allowed to buy Time Warner - dominating the sector.

What will become of Murdoch's broadcast network when it no longer has a TV studio behind it?

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The acquisition price implies a total equity value of approximately $52.4 billion and a total transaction value of approximately $66.1 billion for the business to be acquired by Disney, which includes consolidated assets along with a number of equity investments.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the exact terms of the deal.

This move comes amidst reports that Rupert Murdoch, 86, if finally ready to hand the company over to his sons Lachlan and James after a tumultuous year that saw Fox News part ways with its creator Roger Ailes and biggest star Bill O'Reilly following multiple reports of sexual harassment or assault from staffers.

Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of 21st Century Fox will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share they hold (subject to adjustment).

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But there will be no boardroom representation.

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