According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Walt Disney Co. (Disney) has set Wednesday, 20 March as the closing date for its $71bn acquisition of 21st Century Fox (Fox). On Tuesday (12 March), Disney announced the formal closing process, stating that it has received the last major approval for the deal from regulators in Mexico. Current Fox shareholders will have until 5 PM eastern time (ET) on Thursday (14 March) to choose the amount of cash and Disney shares to receive in the transaction. In terms of the agreement, Fox shareholders will receive a mix of cash and stock valued at $3/share in the deal. Disney said last year that it expects to pay c. $35.7bn in cash and issue 343mn new shares to finance the transaction. Disney included a stock collar provision in the deal to adjust the stock exchange ratio higher if Disney’s share price dropped below $93.53 at the time or lower if Disney’s share price surpassed $114.32 at the time of the deal closing. On Tuesday, Disney’s share price closed at $114.73.
The completion of the Disney-Fox deal will also see the emergence on Tuesday (19 March) of Fox Corporation, the new entity emerging from the Fox assets that Disney is not buying. Disney is also assuming c. $13.8bn in net debt from Fox.