Telstra & News Corp Finalise Foxtel/Fox Sports Merger
After several months of negotiation, Telstra and News Corp have finally inked an agreement for the merger of Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia.
The news comes two months after the ACCC offered its backing of the merger, dropping initial opposition.
Under the new deal, Telstra will hold a 35% stake in the merged entity and News Corp 65%. The associated transaction is expected to officially close sometime in the forth quarter of fiscal year 2018.
In a joint announcement, both Telstra and News Corp affirm the merged entity will enable both companies to deliver “premium” content in Australia, with enhanced “variety and efficiency”.
As part of the agreement, News Corp will appoint four Directors (including Chairman) to the merged entity’s board, while Telstra will name two directors.
As previously reported, Patrick Delany has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the merged company.
News Corp Chief Executive, Robert Thomson, affirms the merger heralds in “a new era” for both Australian companies, who aim to improve services for both consumers and advertisers:
“The launch of the combined company will mark the dawn of a new era for our Australian business, and Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia will together be a formidable force”
“We will be able to use our powerful media platforms to promote the unique sports and entertainment assets in the two companies, and improve services for consumers and advertisers. Patrick Delany and his talented team will be absolutely focused on serving viewers compelling, contemporary Australian content and superlative sports coverage on personalized platforms”.
Telstra CEO, Andy Penn, asserts the merger will better position Telstra to compete in the media market, and will remain an integral part of the telco’s media strategy:
“Our customers are streaming more and more sport and entertainment on their TV at home and on their mobile devices while on the move. Telstra will be the exclusive telco sales agent for the combined entity on mobile and IP products and we will continue with our broadcast reseller arrangements”.