The Walt Disney Co. is expected to close a deal valued at as much as $60 billion to acquire much of 21st Century Fox's assets, according to a news report.
The two companies are on target to announced the deal on Thursday, CNBC reported Tuesday citing persons familiar with the deal.
Disney is expected to acquire the 20th Century Fox film and television studios, channels such as FX and NatGeo, Fox's regional sports networks and its 30% stake in subscription streaming service Hulu. Disney could also get U.K.-based TV and Internet provider Sky, of which Fox currently owns 39% and is seeking to acquire in its entirety.
Fox would create a new company from its remaining assets including the Fox television channel, Fox News Channel and the Fox Sports channels.
Rumors of Fox's interest in selling some of its assets began a month ago. Last month a source familiar with the situation told USA TODAY that Comcast approached Fox and expressed interest in such assets as the Fox TV and movie studio, Sky and Mumbai-headquartered studio Star India.
However. Comcast on Monday announced it was no longer interested in pursuing a bid for most of 21st Century Fox’s assets.
In a statement issued to Reuters, Comcast said “when a set of assets like Fox’s becomes available, it is our responsibility to evaluate if there is a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders. That is what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer.”
21st Century Fox is controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, along with sons James and Lachlan.
Murdoch and Fox have recently seen their $15 billion bid to acquire the 61% of Sky that it does not own thwarted by U.K. regulators investigating legal suits and charges of sexual harassment and discrimination at Fox News.
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