During a pair of meetings lasting no longer than 10 minutes, shareholders of the Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox voted to approve Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of various Fox assets. [Updated with statements from Rupert Murdoch and Bob Iger]
- Disney shareholder’s overwhelmingly voted in favor of the proposal, with 99% voting in the affirmative.
- Meanwhile, Fox shareholders passed the proposal, although the final tally won’t be revealed until the company releases an SEC filing.
- Following Comcast’s announcement that it was bowing out of the race, approval of the proposal was all but certain.
- Most notably, TCI Fund Management — Fox’s second largest shareholder that previously urged the Murdochs to give Comcast more time to up their bid before the dropped out — voted to approve the transaction prior to the meeting.
- As mentioned, each meeting was kept short and neither Bob Iger nor Rupert Murdoch was in attendance at their respective gatherings.
- The Disney/Fox transaction is expected to close in 2019.
- In the meantime, expect plenty of news on who from Fox will be making the move to Disney and what the merged companies will ultimately look like.
What They’re Saying
- Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman, 21st Century Fox: “Combining the 21CF businesses with Disney and establishing new ‘Fox’ will unlock significant value for our shareholders. We are grateful to our shareholders for approving this transaction. I want to thank all of our executives and colleagues for their enormous contributions in building 21st Century Fox over the past decades. With their help, we expect the enlarged Disney and new ‘Fox’ companies will be pre-eminent in the entertainment and media industries.”
- Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company: “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. We remain grateful to Rupert Murdoch and to the rest of the 21st Century Fox board for entrusting us with the future of these extraordinary businesses, and look forward to welcoming 21st Century Fox’s stellar talent to Disney and ultimately integrating our businesses to provide consumers around the world with more appealing content and entertainment options.”