In a deal that Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger has hailed as an “extraordinary and historic moment,” the Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox became official as of today, March 20, 2019.
The acquisition has a total transaction value of approximately $71 billion, and turns Disney from one of the world’s largest entertainment companies into the indisputable 800-pound gorilla of entertainment conglomerates. It also makes Rupert Murdoch (pictured above right with Iger) and his family, who still retain control of Fox News Channel, the largest individual shareholders of the Disney Company. According to analysts, they now own around 7% of Disney.
The acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s iconic collection of businesses and franchises will provide Disney with new assets to increase its international footprint, and expand its direct-to-consumer offerings, which includes Disney+ streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019 (expected to include the company’s complete motion picture library), and Disney and 21st Century Fox’s combined ownership stake in Hulu, which totals 60%.