Disney's $71.3 billion 21st Century Fox merger receives near-unanimous shareholder approval

Disney's $71.3 billion 21st Century Fox merger receives near-unanimous shareholder approval

Disney's $71.3 billion 21st Century Fox merger receives near-unanimous shareholder approval

We are grateful to our shareholders for approving this transaction.

The deal means that blockbuster properties, such as the Disney-owned, Marvel X-Men and Avengers franchises and 21st Century Fox's Deadpool and Avatar, will be united under one umbrella.

In a statement, Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said he expects the new, combined company to become "pre-eminent in the entertainment and media industries".

Fortunately for the companies, Fox and Disney's investors were more than happy to vote in favor of the deal; both shareholder meetings lasted just under 15 minutes.

Neither Disney CEO Bob Iger nor Fox co-executive chair Rupert Murdoch attended Friday's shareholder meetings.

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The portion of Fox that Disney proposed to purchase includes the TV and movie studio, Star India, FX, Nat Geo, Fox's 30 percent stake in Hulu and Fox's 39 percent stake in Sky, the European pay TV company that Comcast is looking to acquire.

Disney was forced to sweeten its offer last month after Comcast, the largest U.S. 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 also agreed to leave out Fox's roster of 22 regional sports channels, as well as a number of live news and entertainment companies under the Fox umbrella.

Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and its sports channels FS1, FS2, and the Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that it will spin off to its shareholders. Comcast later entered the bidding war, pushing up the price before dropping out. Disney already owns ESPN. 21st Century Fox also holds approximately 39.1 per cent of the issued shares of Sky, Europe's leading entertainment company, which serves almost 23 million households across five countries.

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