In one of the epochal events in the entertainment industry, Disney is all set to take over 21st Century Fox on March 20, 2019. Experts opine that the merging of two movie studio giants will change the essence of Fox.
Disney has been expanding rapidly in recent times with the acquisition of a majority stake in Hulu and also that of group of entertainment channels like Nat Geo and FX besides other assets. A new company, simply called Fox will consist of the parts remaining with 21st Century Fox which will include Fox Sports, Fox News and the Fox broadcast network.
This deal, which was proposed in December 2017 was countered by Comcast but Disney prevailed in 2018 when it made a much higher offer to Fox shareholders and the Murdoch family. After that the companies have been collecting all the necessary regulatory approvals and recently executives had been busy in sketching out the structure for the new combined Disney-Fox company.
In the recent announcement the companies said that certain final steps still have to be taken before the deal can be closed. However the companies have to undertake certain inevitable cutbacks, about which uncertainty still looms large.
As a result of consolidation, staffers are expected to be laid off both on the Disney and Fox side of the deal. Reports suggest that the number of layoffs can be as many as 5000. Though the company has not released any official comment on the plans, investors in the venture have been informed to expect nearly $2 billion in cost synergies from operating efficiencies that the combination of businesses will bring about by 2021.
Sarah Sanders, White House spokesperson, has been reported to say that the White House is pleased with the merger. The President congratulated Rupert Murdoch on the deal and has been reported to consider the deal a great approach to create opportunities in the job market.