Fox up 1% to $34.11, with Disney gaining a fraction to $107.22. Media stocks overall are mixed as the Dow 30 has already gone up 104 points on the day, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 are largely flat.
While the exact portfolio of assets changing hands remains unknown, it appears that the Murdoch family will be left with only Fox Broadcasting and its local TV stations, cable giant Fox News and Fox Sports 1 and 2, cable networks launched in 2013. That means a collection of film and TV operations worth some $68 billion would go to Disney, including film and TV studios, a range of cable networks and stakes in Hulu and Sky TV.
A report from MoffattNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson estimates $2.5 billion in cost synergies for Disney and $1 billion in new deal amortization. The assets that remain in the Fox fold generate about $2.3 billion in EBITDA and will incur a capital tax hit of $3.5 billion.
If the announcement does come through as predicted, Thursday could be a milestone day for Disney, which is also launching the eighth installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi, with projections of a global weekend haul north of $400 million.