Disney’s Fox Deal: What We Know and What We Still Want to KnowBy
Walt Disney Co. is expected to announce the acquisition of a large chunk of 21st Century Fox Inc. on Thursday. The deal is the biggest ever for Disney and a significant milestone in the long career of Australia-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Disney will pay $28 to $29 a share in an all-stock deal for Fox businesses including a movie studio, cable channels and international assets, according to a person familiar with the matter. That values the remaining Fox holdings at $11 to $12 a share, the person said. The Wall Street Journal reported the figures earlier Wednesday.
Below are some of the major points of the deal:
|What We Know||What We Don’t Know|
|$60 billion. That’s the approximate value of the assets being purchased, including debt.||How much of Fox’s $12.9 billion in net debt stays with Fox or is assumed by Disney?|
|The Murdochs will control about 5 percent of Disney after the deal.||Fox as a whole will get about 25 percent of Disney’s stock as part of the sale. Will all that be distributed to Fox shareholders?|
|The sale includes the 20th Century Fox film business, but not the actual studio backlot.||What becomes of that real estate? Will the combined company adopt Disney’s film strategy, which means a lot fewer art-house pictures, such as 2014 Oscar winner “12 Years a Slave,” and more blockbuster sequels like “Avatar?”|
|Much of the deal valuation is based on Fox’s regional sports networks, such as YES, the New York Yankees channel.||How will sports leagues, fans and regulators react to ESPN’s owner controlling that much live sports on TV?|
|Disney is acquiring Fox’s 39 percent stake in European TV provider Sky Plc.||How will the deal affect Fox’s pending offer to acquire the rest of that business?|
|With the acquisition of Fox’s 30 percent of U.S. streaming service Hulu, Disney’s share jumps to a majority ownership.||How will that change the strategy at one of the strongest competitors to Netflix Inc.?|
|Fox shareholders will be left with Fox News, Fox Business and Fox Sports 1 -- essentially the live programming assets -- as well as the Fox broadcast network.||What will become of Murdoch’s broadcast network when it no longer has a TV studio behind it?|
|Fox CEO James Murdoch could eventually be offered a senior job at Disney.||Is there a shot he becomes Disney CEO when Bob Iger ultimately retires?|
— With assistance by Nabila Ahmed