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Fox calls shareholders' meeting on July 10 to vote on Disney deal

May 30, 2018

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In this file photo Australian born media magnate Rupert Murdoch (C) flanked by his sons Lachlan (L) and James (R) at St Bride's church on Fleet Street in central London to attend a ceremony of celebration a day after the official marriage of Rupert Murdoch and former US model Jerry Hall. — AFP
In this file photo Australian born media magnate Rupert Murdoch (C) flanked by his sons Lachlan (L) and James (R) at St Bride's church on Fleet Street in central London to attend a ceremony of celebration a day after the official marriage of Rupert Murdoch and former US model Jerry Hall. — AFP

Media-entertainment giant 21st Century Fox said on Wednesday that it has called a shareholder meeting on July 10 to vote on the sale of key television and film operations to Walt Disney Co.

The deal worth $52 billion, or $66 billion with debt included, would reshape the landscape of the sector and vastly scale back the Fox media empire created by Rupert Murdoch.

Take a look: New Hollywood era after Disney-Fox deal

The plan announced last year, which remains subject to regulatory approval, would give Disney the famed Fox Hollywood film and television studios, along with its cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses.

The new Fox would included Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks.

The deal could still face antitrust review in the United States and elsewhere, and another bid for the same assets is expected to come from cable and media giant Comcast.

The planned tie-up comes with traditional media pressured by new business models from Netflix, Amazon and others.

James Murdoch, chief executive at 21st Century Fox, said in an interview on Tuesday that the tie-up with Disney was “the right choice” and would create an entity that would be “super competitive going forward in an industry that's changed a lot".

He said at the Code Conference the all-stock deal is “very attractive for our shareholders” and that if another offer is made “we'll deal with that as we go".

Murdoch offered no indication of his plans following the planned sale. His older brother Lachlan is set to become chairman and chief executive of the “new” Fox, with 87-year-old Rupert Murdoch in the role of co-chairman.

In 2013, Fox was separated from Murdoch's News Corp., which retained newspaper operations in the United States, Britain and Australia.