Disney’s Fox Hunt Getting Aggressive

First it was on, then off, then on again. Now, Walt Disney Pictures and 21st Century Fox are going beyond flirting and are into some heavy petting as The Wall Street Journal reports the two studios have re-started serious discussions about Disney acquiring Fox’s entertainment assets.

Any deal is expected to include 20th Century’s Fox film and TV studio, the FX Networks and National Geographic cable group, Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu, and international TV platforms including Star India and its 39% interest in European satellite broadcaster Sky.

The combined value of the assets believed to be for sale is estimated at around $48.5 billion, while the 20th Century Fox film and TV production operation and library on its own is valued at around $15 billion at its highest. The Murdoch family hopes to determine whether to pursue a transaction by the end of the year.

Comcast reportedly also remains interested in pursuing a potential deal, as does Sony and Verizon Communications.