In two separate meetings conducted Friday (July 27), shareholders for 21st Century Fox and Disney have approved the proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets by Disney.
The deal, first proposed in December of last year, recently received the greenlight from the U.S. Department of Justice, on the condition that Fox’s regional sports networks wouldn’t be among the assets purchased by Disney.
In the months leading up to the shareholder meetings, the plot thickened with Comcast also launching a bid for the assets, which include Fox’s film and television studios; a stable of cable networks including FX, National Geographic and Star India among others; and Fox’s stakes in European satcaster Sky and Hulu as well as a 50% stake in Endemol Shine Group. After a brief bidding war that saw Disney up its bid to US$71.3 billion, Comcast dropped out of the running earlier this month.
According to a statement from the two companies issued Friday morning, under the 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.
“Combining the 21CF businesses with Disney and establishing new ‘Fox’ will unlock significant value for our shareholders,” said Rupert Murdoch (pictured), executive chairman, 21st Century Fox, in a statement. “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 of 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.”