(Reuters) – Walt Disney Co has struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc for $52.4 billion in stock, giving the world’s largest entertainment company an arsenal of shows and movies to combat growing digital rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
The deal brings to a close more than half a century of expansion by Murdoch, 86, who turned a single Australian newspaper he inherited from his father at the age of 21 into one of the world’s most important global news and film conglomerates. The new, slimmed down Fox will focus on TV news and sport.
Shares of Fox, which have surged more than 30 percent since talk of the deal surfaced in early November, climbed 3.2 percent in early trading. Disney shares edged slightly higher after the company said it expects to buy up to $20 billion of its own shares to offset dilution from the all-stock deal.
Fox stockholders will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each share held and will end up owning about a quarter of Disney.
Under the deal, expected to close in 12 to 18 months, Disney acquires 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, its cable entertainment networks and
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