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Fox Shareholders Approve Walt Disney's $71 Billion Deal

Shareholders have signed off on Walt Disney's plan to buy the film and television assets of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for $71bn (£54bn).

Disney expects to pay about $35.7 billion in cash and issue about 343 million New Disney shares to Fox stockholders so that when the transaction closes after final regulatory approval, Fox stockholders will own about 17% to 20% percent of New Disney.

"We're incredibly pleased that shareholders of both companies have granted approval for us to move forward, and are confident in our ability to create significant long-term value through this acquisition of Fox's premier assets", Disney CEO Bob Iger agreed in the same statement. But Roberts and Comcast dropped out of the running for Fox's assets last week, opting instead to focus on its battle with Fox to acquire United Kingdom broadcaster Sky. "I want to thank all of our executives and colleagues for their enormous contributions in building 21st Century Fox over the past decades".

The bidding between Comcast and Disney was part of a bigger battle in the entertainment industry as media companies spend tens of billions of dollars on deals to compete with Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

Disney was forced to sweeten its offer last month after Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), the largest US cable company, made a $66 billion bid for Fox's well-known TV shows and movie franchises, including the "X-Men" and "The Simpsons".

Disney's cash and stock offer has already received approval from USA regulators.

Disney originally offered $52.4 billion in stock for Fox's assets, but Comcast topped that with $65 billion in cash before Disney again raised its bid to $71.3 billion. While the merger won't officially happen until the first half of 2019, that hasn't stopped fans from theorizing about how this deal will impact the two companies.

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