November 19, 2018 / 4:21 PM / 22 days ago

Disney's Fox deal gets China's approval

FILE PHOTO: A screen shows the logo and a ticker symbol for The Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) on Monday received unconditional approval from China for its deal to buy Twenty-First Century Fox’s (FOXA.O) entertainment assets, clearing one of the last major hurdles for the deal to go through.

Disney agreed to purchase Fox’s film and television assets for $71.3 billion (55.42 billion pounds) and received approval from European Commission earlier this month, subject to certain conditions.

Other major U.S.-centric merger deals in the past year have run into trouble with Chinese regulators, against the backdrop of growing trade tensions.

The Fox assets being acquired include a cable group with FX Networks, National Geographic and 300-plus international channels, plus Fox’s stake in Hulu.

The deal would expand Disney’s unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s most popular characters, uniting Mickey Mouse, Luke Skywalker and Marvel superheroes with Fox’s X-Men, “Avatar” and “The Simpsons” franchises.

Disney owns ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel Studios and “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm, plus an array of theme parks.

Disney shares rose 1 percent to $117.34, while those of Fox were up 3 percent at $49.60.

Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Shounak Dasgupta

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