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Disney reportedly in talks to buy 21st Century Fox
07 November 2017, 01:10 | Gordon Grant
Michael Loccisano Getty Images File
In what could potentially be the most far-reaching and impactful movie industry news story of 2017, CNBC is reporting that The Walt Disney Company is in early talks to potentially purchase parts of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of both the 20th Century Fox movie studio and the Fox Television production company, along with other media assets like FX Networks and National Geographic, as well as worldwide platforms like Star and Sky.
For Fox, the willingness to engage in sale talks with Disney stems from a growing belief among its senior management that scale in media is of immediate importance and there is not a path to gain that scale in entertainment through acquisition.
The deal that was under discussion, as reported by CNBC, would have seen Fox selling its movie studio, television production unit and entertainment networks to Disney. Disney would not buy Fox's broadcast network, Fox's sports programming, or the Fox News or Business channels.
CNBC's sources said any potential deal between Fox and Disney wouldn't have Disney buying all of Fox.
Could the Walt Disney Company be buying Fox?
The blockbuster report by CNBC that Disney could acquire Fox's movie, studio, non-sports network and distribution assets sent TV stocks higher in late trading Monday.
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It is not known if Murdoch, who is now the Executive Co-Chairman at 21st Century Fox, wpould maintain a role inside the company or if he would take some time off to celebrate being newly Wednesday for the third time to supermodel wife Jerry Hall.
There's also the question of what it would mean for Fox to be focused even more on news and sports.
Of course, if Fox and Disney come to an agreement, both sides must get something out of it.
Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox rose some 7 percent to $26.80 in afternoon trade while Disney was up almost 2 percent to $100.30.
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