The Walt Disney Co. managed to whittle down the price of its acquisition of
Fox Family Worldwide Inc. by about $100 million.
Disney announced in July that it would acquire Fox Family from News Corp. and
Saban Entertainment Inc. for $3 billion in cash and $2.3 billion in assumed
debt. At the time, several analysts considered the purchase price a little
But in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a down advertising market and
a stock price that has plunged 34 percent this year, Disney chairman Michael
Eisner was quoted in the Financial Times earlier this month saying that
he was 'concerned' about the Fox Family deal.
News Corp. officials had said privately that their deal was ironclad, but
they decided to make a concession so as not to delay the closing. News Corp. is
relying on at least part of that money to help it in its bid to purchase Hughes
According to a press release issued Wednesday, Disney said it closed the deal
for $2.9 billion in cash and the assumption of $2.3 billion in debt.
Disney plans to use Fox Family to repurpose some of its ABC broadcast-network
and cable-network programming, and it said it would rename the channel ABC
Family once the deal was closed.
'We are pleased to have completed this strategic acquisition, and we are now
turning with excitement to the launch of our new ABC Family service in the
United States and the continued expansion of the Fox Kids services, which will
ultimately be rebranded, in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere,' Eisner said in
a prepared statement.