21st Century Fox in talks to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co
08 November 2017
21st Century Fox has been in discussion to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co, leaving behind a media company with a tight focus on news and sports, according to people familiar with the situation, CNBC reported.
The talks have been held over the last few weeks but there is no certainty they will lead to a deal. The discussions are not on at the moment, but given the on-again, off-again nature of the talks, they could be revived.
According to commentators, for Fox the willingness to engage in sale talks with Disney has a lot to do with the growing belief among its senior management that scale in media is of immediate importance and a path to gain that scale in entertainment through acquisition does not exist. The line of thinking in the company is that a more tightly focused group of properties around news and sports could compete more effectively in the current marketplace.
They point out that the landscape has changed considerably in recent years with giants such as Facebook, Google (Alphabet), Amazon and Netflix changing the way people consume media and dominating the digital distribution of digital video content. The ability to compete in the changing landscape, required scale which Disney has, but 21st Century Fox does not.
Meanwhile, the UK satellite broadcaster Sky warned yesterday that it might shut down its 24-hour news channel if the property were to prove an obstacle in its effort to sell itself to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.
Sky wrote in a regulatory filing with the Competition Markets Authority in Britain, that the regulator should not ''simply assume the 'continued provision of Sky News''' in case the channel were to pose a problem for the $15 billion transaction.
The threat is seen as an aggressive move by Sky to win approval of the transaction, which has been under review by the UK government for nearly a year.