Disney to acquire assets of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B megadeal

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Disney has reached a deal to acquire key assets of Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion deal, officials announced Thursday.

The deal gives Disney 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses. The deal does not include Fox News Channel, which would reportedly become the centerpiece of a smaller media company run by the Murdoch family and tightly focused on news and sports.

The companies had been working on a deal for several weeks, although there were reports 21st Century Fox had other suitors, including Comcast and Sony.

Disney will reportedly pay as much as $29 a share for Fox assets, including the 20th Century Fox movie and TV studio, cable networks including regional sports networks, and key international assets, they said. It is expected to be an all-stock transaction and Disney would assume some Fox debt.

Most of the assets Disney is buying would be put to use in Chief Executive Robert Iger's quest to transform his company into a streaming-video giant that can go head-to-head with rivals such as Netflix Inc. He wants Disney to have its own relationships with consumers and a broad array of content to offer them online.