Disney close to snaring $60bn Fox in mass media consolidation

Disney close to snaring $60bn Fox in mass media consolidation

Disney is poised to swoop on the assets of Rupert Murdoch’s21st Century Fox in a landmark $60bn takeover which is set to usher in a new wave of consolidation in the mass media market.

Included in its haul would be Fox assets such as Sky and satellite broadcaster Star, handing Disney a readymade market spanning the UK, Europe and Asia.

Disney is the last suitor left standing following the withdrawal of Comcast on Monday, sparking fevered talks between both parties as they scramble to dot the i’s and cross the t’s of a potential deal as early as Thursday.

Expectations are high that a deal can be concluded in double-quick time given the belief that the Murdoch family are more receptive to the receipt of Disney stock than they were of Comcast shares. A following wind is also expected from US regulators, with fewer hurdles expected to be put in place for any possible Disney takeover.

Some potential sticking points still remain however, not the least of which is the question of what becomes of Fox’s ongoing bid to purchase a remaining 61% stake in Sky, which is currently in the hands of the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

Doubts have been raised as to whether Disney would be interested in following through on this transaction should it become owner.

Fox’s extensive assets include the FX and National Geographic cable channels, as well as 22 regional US sports networks and a stake in the Hulu streaming platform.

Fox opened discussions with Disney over a potential sale just over a month ago.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.