Walt Disney is buying 21st Century Fox Inc. for $52.4 billion (£39 billion), the companies have just announced.
A statement on Walt Disney's website says that the companies have entered into a 'definitive agreement' for the acquisition, which will include the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses.
"Building on Disney's commitment to deliver the highest quality branded entertainment, the acquisition of these complementary assets would allow Disney to create more appealing content, build more direct relationships with consumers around the world and deliver a more compelling entertainment experience to consumers wherever and however they choose," the statement reads.
As part of the historic deal, Disney will aquire 21st Century Fox's critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000 - the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water, The Martian and much more.
Credit: Deadpool / 20th Century Fox
Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, has agreed to continue in his role through 2021.
Iger said: "The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before.
"We're honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we're excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings.
"The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world."
Credit: The Martian / 20th Century Fox
Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox, has also said: "We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry.
"Furthermore, I'm convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger's leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world. I'm grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none."
Read the full statement released by Disney on the company's website here.
Featured Image Credit: 21st Century Fox