Walt Disney Co. has agreed to buy 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion, Disney announced Thursday.
The Burbank entertainment company will gain control of Fox’s movie and television studios, cable channels and the Sky television service in Europe. In conjunction with the deal, Disney also announced Chief Executive Robert Iger will continue with the company until 2021.
Fox’s library of entertainment properties, including the Simpsons, FX Networks and National Geographic, will join the Disney library. Also, the combined company will have a controlling interest in the Hulu streaming service.
Under the deal, Disney will give Fox shareholders 0.2745 share of Disney stock for every share of Fox. Disney will issue 515 million new shares of stock, or about 25 percent of outstanding shares.
In addition to the $52.4 billion payment in stock, Disney will assume $13.7 billion in Fox debt.
“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” Iger said in a statement.
The acquisition is expected to close in 12 to 18 months.
Shares of Disney (DIS) closed Thursday up $2.96, or 2.8 percent, to $110.57 on the New York Stock Exchange.