Disney buys Fox Family

The Associated Press
Thursday October 25, 2001

BURBANK — The Walt Disney Co. Wednesday competed its purchase of Fox Family Worldwide Inc. for $5.2 billion — about $100 million less than the original purchase price announced in July. 

Disney bought the company from News Corp. and Saban Entertainment, which each owned 49.5 percent. Investment banker Allen & Co owned 1 percent of the company. 

Disney confirmed that the final purchase price included $2.9 billion in cash and the assumption of $2.3 billion in debt. The original deal called for a payment of $3 billion in cash. 

News Corp. was not immediately available for comment. 

Fox Family, which Disney plans to rename ABC Family, reaches about 81 million cable subscribers in the United States. 

The deal expands Disney’s programming reach worldwide with a 76 percent ownership in Fox Kids Europe, a children’s programming channel that reaches 24 million homes, and a 10 million-subscriber channel in Latin America called Fox Kids. 

“We are pleased to have completed this strategic acquisition, and 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 re-branded, in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere,” Disney chairman and chief executive officer Michael Eisner said in a statement.