21st Century Fox held talks with Disney over possible sale, reports say

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21st Century Fox held talks with Disney over possible sale, reports say

The fairy tale reign of Bob Iger continues at Walt Disney Company with the news that 21st Century Fox is looking to unload a number of major properties to their rival in what would be one of the biggest media sales in history. The talks reportedly took place within the last few weeks, and it's not certain they will firm up a deal. With Fox's entertainment assets, Disney C.E.O.

At the very least, buying Fox's production studios would give Disney much more programming to include in its Netflix-style online streaming service that it is planning to offer in late 2019 or 2020. The Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox broadcast and Fox Sports will remain as they are. Both companies had no immediate comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.

Currently, 21st Century Fox has X-Force and New Mutants films in the works based on the Marvel Comics properties of the same name, as well as an "R"-rated Deadpool sequel". Instead, it could refocus its business around a core group of news and sports assets like Fox News and Fox Sports 1.

In addition to the movie studio, TV production and global assets such as Star and B Sky B, Disney would take entertainment network FX and National Geographic, the report added. Disney would also not purchase Fox's local broadcasting affiliates, according to people familiar with the negotiations. We could even see some pricing deals combining their sports and entertainment streaming services, an over-the-top version of the old cable bundle without anyone in the middle between the content provider and the consumer, and that could mean a lot in terms of helping the ESPN streaming service gain traction.

Fox's stock is up more than 7% on the reports from CNBC and The Wall Street Journal, which cite unidentified insiders and describe negotiations not now being held.

Fox shares surged as much as 6.3 percent, and Disney rose as much as 2.4 percent. But 21st Century Fox wouldn't sell all of its company.

Fox's shares rose 5.8 per cent to $26.40 U.S. in afternoon trading, after being halted in the morning when the report came out.

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