Disney & Fox Shareholders Approve $71.3 Billion Merger

Disney makes it official: Fox is moving to the mouse house

Shareholders for both The Walt Disney Co. and those for 21st Century Fox voted on Friday to approve the $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox's film and TV entertainment assets by Disney.

Regulators in the USA have already approved the plan, but it still needs the go-ahead in many other countries. Disney expects to pay a total of about $35.7 billion in cash and issue approximately 343 million New Disney shares to 21st Century Fox stockholders.

Disney (DIS) will get Fox's (FOXA) movie studio, which includes franchises like "Avatar" and "X-men", along with cable channels like FX and National Geographic.

The meetings, held separately at the New York Hilton, each lasted less than 15 minutes, ending a saga that officially began in mid-December when Disney finalized its initial $52.4 billion stock offer for Fox. In an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Disney, which owns sports network ESPN, said it would divest 22 of Fox's regional sports networks.

Only time will tell how Disney plans to make use of Fox's assets, but based on the former's acquisitions of other major entertainment studios, significant changes could be coming to the way Fox does business in the future.

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That should help strengthen Disney's content offering even more as it prepares to launch its standalone streaming service next year. Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of non-U.S. merger and other regulatory reviews, and other customary closing conditions.

The two companies continue to vie for satellite broadcaster Sky.

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts on Thursday said that a quickly rising price in the showdown with Walt Disney for big parts of 21st Century Fox caused the cable giant to drop out of the bidding.

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks; Studio Entertainment; Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products; and Direct-to-Consumer and global.

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