Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, often called simply 20th Century Fox, is an American film production company that is located in southern California. The studio was involved in the development of the original Star Wars trilogy and subsequently distributed the prequel trilogy. Located in the Century City area of Los Angeles, just west of Beverly Hills, the studio is currently a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, a spin-out (and de facto successor) of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
20th Century Fox was actually not George Lucas's first choice for a distibutor of the film, having been preceded at least by Universal Studios, who turned his offer down. Lucas convinced Fox, or more specifically Alan Ladd, Jr., to finance Star Wars, due primarily to Ralph McQuarrie's artwork. In 1977, the company's risky investment paid off when Star Wars became an enormous hit. Fox's stock skyrocketed, and despite the sale of Star Wars merchandising and sequel rights to Lucas, the company still made strong profits.
Current ownership rightsEdit
Even after the release of Fox's final Star Wars film, Fox continues to earn profits from the franchise due to DVD sales and distribution revenue.
Despite the Walt Disney Company's 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm Ltd. and the release rights to all future Star Wars films, Fox was to retain original distribution rights to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which they co-produced and co-financed, in perpetuity in all media worldwide. Fox was also to retain theatrical, nontheatrical, and home video rights worldwide for the franchise's five subsequent films, which Lucasfilm produced and financed independently, through May 2020, at which time ownership was to transfer to Disney. This complex relationship between Disney and Fox, particularly in regards to Fox's perpetual rights to Episode IV, was to create an obstacle for any future boxed set comprising all nine films. On December 14, 2017, the Walt Disney Company announced that it is acquiring most of Fox's parent company, 21st Century Fox, including the film studio and all distribution rights to A New Hope for $52.4 billion.
On May 7, 2018, shares of Fox rose 5.1% when a report was released that Comcast was in talks with investment banks and firms in order to obtain bridge-financing for an all-cash bid, reportedly worth $60 billion, that threatened the Disney-Fox deal.
On May 29, it was reported that Disney was looking into making its own all-cash counter-offer for Fox assets in the event that Comcast went through with their offer. The next day, Disney and Fox announced that they have set their shareholder vote meetings for July 10, though both companies have stated that Fox's meeting could be postponed if Comcast came through with their offer.
On June 12, AT&T was given approval by District Judge Richard J. Leon to acquire Time Warner, easing concerns Comcast had regarding whether government regulators would block their bid for Fox. Consequently, the next day, Comcast mounted a bid of $65 billion for the 21st Century Fox assets that were set to be acquired by Disney.
On June 14, Bloomberg News reported that the New York Yankees were seeking to invoke a clause in Fox's purchase of stakes in YES Network, allowing them to buy back Fox's stake in the event of a change in ownership (and thus prevent it from being included in the sale).
On June 20, Disney and Fox announced that they had amended their previous merger agreement, upping Disney’s offer to $71.3 billion (a 10% premium over Comcast's $65 billion offer), while also offering shareholders the option of receiving cash instead of stock.
On June 21, Murdoch said in response to Disney's higher offer: "We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry." That still does not prevent other companies from making a bid, as the deal was needed to be voted on by shareholders. Iger explained the reasoning behind the bid: "Direct-to-consumer distribution has actually become an even more compelling proposition in the six months since we announced the deal. There has just been not only a tremendous amount of development in that space, but clearly the consumer is voting—loudly."
On July 11, 21st Century Fox raised its bid to purchase Sky's assets to $32.5 billion, and $18.57 a share. In response, Comcast increased its bid to $34 billion, and $19.5 a share. At the same time, Fox was given clearance by the British government to purchase Sky. The bidding war for Sky led to some analysts speculating that Comcast could give up bidding for 21st Century Fox in favor of a smaller battle.
- The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
- Empire Building: The Remarkable Real Life Story of Star Wars
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Masters, Kim (2012-10-30). Tangled Rights Could Tie Up Ultimate 'Star Wars' Box Set (Analysis). The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on October 31, 2012.
- ↑ The Walt Disney Company To Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., After Spinoff Of Certain Businesses, For $52.4 Billion In Stock. The Walt Disney Company (2017-12-14). Retrieved on December 14, 2017.
- ↑ Smith, Gerry (2018-05-07). Fox Jumps on Report That Comcast Is Considering Counterbid to Disney. Bloomberg. Retrieved on May 7, 2018.
- ↑ Munson, Ben (2018-05-29). Disney rounding up cash to fight off Comcast's rival bid for Fox. Fierce Cable. Retrieved on May 29, 2018.
- ↑ Tartaglione, Nancy (2018-05-30). Fox And Disney Set Shareholder Meetings For Vote On Merger. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved on May 30, 2018.
- ↑ Littleton, Cynthia (2018-06-12). Decisive AT&T Victory Sets Stage for Comcast to Challenge Disney for 21st Century Fox Assets. Variety. Retrieved on June 12, 2018.
- ↑ Welch, Chris (2018-06-13). Comcast makes $65 billion offer to steal 21st Century Fox away from Disney. The Verge. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
- ↑ Soshnick, Scott (2018-06-14). Yankees Consider Buying Back YES If Fox Sells Assets. Bloomberg. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
- ↑ Faber, David (2018-06-18). Disney is expected to add cash to its bid for Twenty-First Century Fox assets. CNBC. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
- ↑ Clarke, Stewart (2018-06-19). Disney Offers to Take on Sky News for 15 Years; Channel to Get $2 Billion Investment. Variety. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
- ↑ Turner, Nick (2018-06-20). Disney Sweetens Offer for Fox to $71 Billion, Outbidding Comcast. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
- ↑ The Walt Disney Company Signs Amended Acquisition Agreement To Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., For $71.3 Billion In Cash And Stock. The Walt Disney Company (2018-06-20). Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
- ↑ Cheng, Roger (2018-06-20). Fox agrees to Disney's new $71.3 billion offer, rejecting Comcast. CNET. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
- ↑ Hayes, Dawn (2018-06-20). Disney's Bob Iger On Need For Fox Deal: "The Consumer Is Voting — Loudly". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
- ↑ Disney wins US antitrust approval to buy Fox assets. CNBC (2018-06-27). Retrieved on June 28, 2018.
- ↑ Littleton, Cynthia (2018-06-28). Disney, Fox Set Shareholder Voting Date for $71 Billion Deal. Variety. Retrieved on June 28, 2018.
- ↑ James, Meg (2018-06-28). Disney and Fox schedule July 27 shareholder votes on merger — upping pressure on Comcast. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on June 28, 2018.
- ↑ Murdoch's Fox increases Sky bid to £24.5bn in takeover battle. BBC.com (2018-07-11). Retrieved on July 12, 2018.
- ↑ Littleton, Cynthia (2018-07-11). Comcast Raises Bid for Sky as Regulatory Decision Accelerates Sale Process. Variety. Retrieved on July 12, 2018.
- ↑ White, Peter (2018-07-12). 21st Century Fox Given Clearance To Buy Sky By British Government. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved on July 12, 2018.