Media mogul in surprise sale
Disney buys Murdoch’s Fox empire for $52bn
Sky: changing media landscape
Rupert Murdoch has signalled the end of an era by agreeing the sale of most of his media empire to Walt Disney.
The $52.4 billion deal ($66bn with debt) includes the bulk of 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, as well as its 39% stake in satellite broadcaster Sky.
Murdoch will retain Fox News which will form a news-focused company while the Murdoch family will take a 4.25% stake in Disney.
The 86-year-old media mogul refused to see the deal as a “retreat”, preferring to describe it as the “next great leg of our journey”.
But analysts say Murdoch could no longer keep pace with changes in the global media industry, in particular the challenge from giant US corporations such as Netflix, Amazon and Google.
It expands Disney’s portfolio, adding media company Star India and Fox’s interests in Sky and Tata Sky.
Disney will also get majority control of the video streaming service Hulu, which is also partially owned by Comcast and Time Warner.
The deal will also have implications in UK for Sky to a bid from Fox for the shares that it doesn’t already own. That bid is being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is due to publish provisional findings in January.
If the purchase is approved then the whole of Sky would be likely to transfer to Disney’s ownership.
Murdoch will continue to control News Corp, a separately listed company which owns The Times, Sunday Times and Sun newspapers.