The long in the works Disney buyout of 21st Century Fox may be finalized in July. Shareholders will gather in Manhattan to vote whether or not they will accept Disney’s offer of $52.4 billion, which would be paid in stocks. If the deal is successful, Disney will acquire the 20th Century Fox entertainment studio, the various Fox cable networks including FX and Fox Sports and 39% of interest in European satellite service Sky.
HOWEVER, Fox may postpone or adjourn this meeting if it gets a better offer. In early February, Comcast announced plans to make a $60 billion all-cash offer to outbid Disney, but this plan was contingent on whether or not a separate buyout bid, in which AT&T is hoping to acquire Time Warner, is approved. Both these deals are being heavily investigated by the U.S. government to ensure that neither deal creates a monopoly. In the case of Disney buying Fox, the biggest thorn is the fact that Disney owns ESPN and all subsidiaries, but in buying Fox, they will acquire Fox Sports, which could create a monopoly when it comes to sports programming, which could lead to them demanding more money from cable and satellite providers, who will then turn around and raise rates for subscribers.
In a completely legalese statement, Fox stated:
“Under the Disney merger agreement, if any event occurs that 21st Century Fox determines, after consultation with outside legal counsel, is reasonably likely to require under applicable law the filing or mailing of any supplemental or amended disclosure, 21st Century Fox may postpone or adjourn the special meeting of its stockholders to allow reasonable additional time for the filing, mailing, dissemination and review by its stockholders of any such disclosure prior to the special meeting.”
On July 10 at 10am, Disney’s shareholders will gather at the New Amsterdam Theatre in midtown Manhattan, while at the same time, Fox’s shareholders will gather at the nearby New York Hilton Midtown.
Whatever happens, the result will be massive for casual fans of any of these entertainment brands. Stay tuned to see how things work out!
Source: The Hollywood Reporter