Disney and Fox shareholders give acquisition the green light

With Comcast officially out of the way, Disney’s buyout of 21st Century Fox assets just took another major step toward reality. Shareholders from both mega media companies have approved the $71.3 billion deal.

In a lovely bit of classic media performance art, shareholders from both boards took separate meetings at the New York Hilton this morning to vote on the deal.

In an interview with Variety, Fox general counsel called the deal a “transformative transaction that will enable us to unlock significant value for our stockholders.” It also means yet another major bit of major media consolidation among a withering major movie studio system, but at least the X-Men will get to fight the Avengers, I guess.

Some fun bits from these meetings, per Variety again: one shareholder at Disney said the company was overpaying for Fox, while another at Fox apparently walked up to the mic to say, “Nobody does it like Rupert Murdoch. I love Rupert Murdoch.”

I don’t know. We love who we love, I guess.

The deal has been brewing for more than half a year. Back in December, Disney offered up $52.4 billion for assets, including the 20th Century Fox movie studio, the FX network and more. Comcast helped hike up the price with a $65 billion offer back in June, but ultimately pulled out of the race a week or so back.

According to the companies, the deal is expected to close in early 2019, pending all of the standard regulatory approval.