It’s been a long time coming, but it looks as though the Disney buyout of 21st Century Fox and its assets will finally “become effective at 12:02 a.m. Eastern time on March 20.” Disney announced on Tuesday morning that it had received the last major approval from regulators in Mexico. Fox shareholders have until 5 pm EST on Thursday, 3/13 to determine how much cash and stock they wish to receive in this $71.3 billion transaction. Each Disney share is valued at $38 in cash. Disney is reportedly expecting to shell out $35.7 billion in cash and issue 343 million new Disney stocks.
Certain Fox properties (mostly involving FOX Sports) were determined by the Justice Department as being off-limits to Disney. Those properties will become the independent Fox Corporation on March 19, just before the Disney buyout is finalized.
While Disney is obtaining a number of high-profile movie properties from Fox– ‘Aliens’, ‘Avatar’, ‘Planet of the Apes, ‘Predator’, and perhaps most excitingly, the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’– Disney is actually taking on $13.8 billion in debt.
It is also projected that 4,000 people will be laid off as the two companies merge, creating redundancies, as well as Disney’s plans to reallocate financing toward its top priority, the launch of its Disney+ streaming service. Not being laid off are most of the higher up executives, who will either remain in their established positions, now reporting to Disney brass, or will be shifted from their positions at Fox to equivalent positions at Disney.
With the deal about to close, expect to learn more about changes within both entities, as the dust settles.
From a fan perspective, that means that we should learn definitely what will become of unreleased Fox projects, including ‘New Mutants’, a film whose fate has been debated for over a year now, as its release has been pushed back several times. There is even the possibility that once ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is released on April 26, that Marvel Studios will make an announcement regarding the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’, perhaps at San Diego Comic-Con in July.
Are you excited that the Disney/Fox buyout is almost complete?