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Disney's acquisition of Fox will likely close by summer 2019

Pixar. Marvel. Lucasfilm. 20th Century Fox. The world. Okay, that last one may not be true, yet, but Disney has sure been amassing quite the empire in recent years. Disney's latest acquisition will be its largest yet, as the company will be paying over $50 billion for 20th Century Fox's movie and TV assets, among other goodies, which will give them control of franchises such as X-MEN, The Simpsons, AVATAR, and complete their STAR WARS play-set with A NEW HOPE.

Speaking at a town hall meeting on the Fox lot today, 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice provided an update on how the deal is progressing. When the merger was first announced last December, Disney said they expected the regulatory approval process to take somewhere between 12 and 18 months, and it seems that estimate was right on the money as Rice told Fox employees that the deal will most likely be completed by the end of summer 2019 at the latest. Once the transition is completed, the remaining Fox assets will be formed into a new company, jokingly called "Diet Fox" by Rice, and management changes will be announced over the next year. For those employees moving to Disney, Rice expects the switch to be seamless, but those that stay will be in for an "exciting time" as the slimmed-down new Fox will be a "focused, nimble and well capitalized company set up for the future."

At the time of the deal, Disney CEO Bob Iger, who will be extending his contract through 2021 in order to oversee the merger, said:

The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before. We’re honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings. The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.

Although the thought of Disney adding so many new properties to their franchises is exciting, particularly in regards to the returning Marvel characters, it's also a little concerning to see one company in charge of so much media, but I suppose we'll have to wait and see how it all plays out. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige commented that the deal wouldn't have an immediate effect on him earlier this year as his Marvel plate is already quite full. "We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced," Feige said. "If and when the deal actually happens, we’ll start to think more about it. Until then, we have a lot to do." I guess it's time to start thinking about it.

Source: Deadline
Tags: disney, Fox

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