Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ:FOXA)(NASDAQ:FOX) jumped 9.9% on Monday, following reports that the media leader recently held talks to sell most of its assets to Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS). Shares of Disney also climbed 2% on the news.
According to CNBC, sources familiar with the situation say that Disney would acquire assets including 21st Century Fox's movie studio, entertainment networks such as FX and National Geographic, TV production assets, and international assets including the Star cable network in India and a stake in Europe-based satellite service Sky.
The sources clarified that Disney would not acquire Fox's broadcast network or its sports programming assets, probably because of antitrust concerns, given Disney's ownership of ABC and ESPN. Disney also would not acquire Fox Business, Fox News, or its local broadcasting affiliates.
The end result for Fox investors, then, would be a more focused business revolving around news and sports, which could allow the company to more effectively thrive in today's changing media landscape.
That said, the sources clarified that the talks are no longer being held. But it's remarkable that Fox would go so far as to formally entertain such a massive shift in its business strategy and structure, and the two media juggernauts could easily revive negotiations in the coming months. As such, it was no surprise to see shares of both 21st Century Fox and Disney climbing higher today.