Disney's $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets gets the greenlight from shareholders

Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images
  • Shareholders gave the go-ahead for a $US71 billion deal between 21st Century Fox and Disney on Friday.
  • After prevailing in a bidding war with Comcast, Disney is purchasing the assets, which exclude the Fox News and Fox Business networks.

Shareholders have approved a $US71 billion deal that merges some of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets with Disney.

Both companies announced Friday that their shareholders gave their approval in separate meetings in New York.

Disney is purchasing the assets, which exclude the Fox News and Fox Business networks, for $US38 a share. The merger could help Disney better compete with companies like Netflix, which acquire content and distribute it directly to consumers online. Disney is planning to launch a streaming service next year.

Disney raised its offer after Comcast ignited a bidding war by putting in a $US65 billion offer for the 21st Century Fox assets. Comcast ended its bid last week, saying it would instead focus on its fight with Fox to acquire the British broadcaster Sky.

“Combining the 21CF businesses with Disney and establishing new ‘Fox’ will unlock significant value for our shareholders,” Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, said in a statement.

The Justice Department approved the deal on condition that the company sold the Fox Sports regional networks.

Disney and 21st Century Fox shares were little changed after the shareholder approval on Friday.

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