Mumbai: Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox had gained momentum and they are almost in the verge of closing the deal, and the announcement on the deal could come as soon as next week, according to sources familiar with the matter.
CNBC has been reporting that Disney has held talks with the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media company to acquire its studio and television production assets, leaving Fox with its news and sports assets. Fox is also talking with CNBC parent company Comcast, but the talks with Disney have progressed more significantly.
The deal contemplates the sale of Fox’s Nat Geo, Star India, Regional sports Networks, Movie studios and stakes in Sky and Hulu, among other properties. What would remain at Fox includes its news and business news divisions, broadcast network and Fox sports.
With this deal Disney also would get Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu. Disney already has a 30 percent stake in Hulu, so that arrangement would give it majority ownership of the digital OTT platform.
Even though, the report says both companies are interested in the acquisition, this doesn’t confirm that the deal will go through, as the same needs to be approved by Federal Trade Commission.
The enterprise value of the Fox assets in the Disney deal is seen as above $60 billion, according to sources. Current Fox shareholders would get one share of the Fox company that remains after the movie and television assets are sold plus shares of Disney in a fixed exchange ratio.
Faber was the first to report that Disney and Fox were negotiating in early November, but said those talks had stalled. This past weekend, the Wall Street Journal confirmed conversations had become active again, but didn’t give an estimated time for when the deal could go through.
Meanwhile, 21st Century Fox has announced that it has elevated Star India Chairman and CEO Uday Shankar to President, 21st Century Fox, Asia, effective immediately.