Let’s head over to the Wall Street Journal/Business Insider side of our Media Fence to share the latest news on a topic that has been of great interest to the fans of the Disney Studio and Fox Studios in terms of the acquisition of the latter by The Walt Disney Company. The Stockholders have spoken and indeed the news is good.
The Press Release:
Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21st Century Fox”—NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX) and The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”—NYSE: DIS) announced that, at separate special meetings today, stockholders of the two companies approved all proposals related to Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The proposals included the adoption by 21st Century Fox stockholders of the merger agreement with Disney (the “Disney Merger Agreement”) and the distribution merger agreement for the spin-off of new “Fox.” Disney stockholders approved the issuance of new common stock that will be distributed to 21st Century Fox stockholders as part of the acquisition.
“Combining the 21CF businesses with Disney and establishing new ‘Fox’ will unlock significant value for our shareholders,” said Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman, 21st Century Fox. “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.”
“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,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “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.”
Under the Disney Merger Agreement, 21st Century Fox stockholders may elect to receive $38 per share in either cash or shares of New Disney, a new holding company that will become the parent of both Disney and 21st Century Fox (the consideration may be subject to adjustment for certain tax liabilities). The overall mix of consideration paid to 21st Century Fox stockholders will be approximately 50% cash and 50% stock. The stock consideration is subject to a collar, which will ensure that 21st Century Fox stockholders will receive consideration equal to $38 in value if the average Disney stock price at closing is between $93.53 and $114.32. Disney expects to pay a total of about $35.7 billion in cash and issue approximately 343 million New Disney shares to 21st Century Fox stockholders. As a result, current 21st Century Fox stockholders will own a 17-20% stake in New Disney on a pro forma basis.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice entered into a consent decree with Disney and 21st Century Fox that allows the transaction to proceed, while requiring the sale of the Fox Sports Regional Networks. Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of non-U.S. merger and other regulatory reviews, and other customary closing conditions.
Final voting tallies from the 21st Century Fox and Disney special meetings are subject to certification by the companies’ respective inspectors of elections, and will be included in reports to be filed by 21st Century Fox and Disney with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
About 21st Century Fox: 21st Century Fox is one of the world’s leading portfolios of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic Channels, Star India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 350 international channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50 per cent ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. 21st Century Fox also holds approximately 39.1 per cent of the issued shares of Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, which serves nearly 23 million households across five countries. For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.
About The Walt Disney Company: The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks; Studio Entertainment; Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products; and Direct-to-Consumer and International. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $55.1 billion in its Fiscal Year 2017.
PiercingMetal Thoughts: Annnnnnnd exhale. This is great news because it means the return of The X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises back to Marvel who will have complete control over these properties once again and after that miserable disaster of a film with 2015’s “Fantastic Four” I cannot wait to find that entire mythology erased to be worked on properly. Speaking of erased, there was a lot of scuttlebutt going around the web earlier this week noting that both “New Mutants” and “Dark Phoenix” films have been shelved. I have to be honest and say that I wouldn’t mind this at all since all advance reports and notations about the two films said that they were terrible. Disney would have their branding over the films based on the merger and could have been potentially viewed as having been behind them but to clarify, I don’t have this as official information. It would make sense to scrap them if more work is necessary to make them watchable. Let’s remember that “Justice League” required a lot of work to make it an enjoyable film and well…..it was not really an enjoyable film. Let’s hope that Disney can trade a couple of the newly owned properties with Sony to get Spider-Man back under the stable. Go ahead Sony, take “Avatar” and all its endless possibilities. I will not miss it. So closing up what do you readers think about this little bit of big business news? Chime in down below.