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Disney deal with 21st Century Fox would be 'dream come true,' media analyst says

  • Walt Disney Co. could benefit significantly if it is able to buy most of 21st Century Fox, Laura Martin, senior Needham analyst, said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" Monday.
  • 21st Century Fox has been discussing a sale of most of the company to Disney, CNBC reported Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
  • Martin estimated such a deal would cost Disney about $20 billion to $30 billion and would be a "dream come true."

If Walt Disney Co. buys most of 21st Century Fox, that would be a "dream come true," an industry analyst said.

21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Disney, leaving only an entity focused on news and sports, CNBC reported Monday, citing sources familiar with the situation.

Such a sale would be a "dream come true," Laura Martin, senior analyst, entertainment and internet at Needham, said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" Monday. Martin has a hold rating on the stocks of both companies.

She estimated such a deal would cost Disney $20 billion to $30 billion.

"Putting these assets under Disney's hands will make them a lot more money," Martin said. "At the end of the day, Fox will get more money than it could have by it operating those businesses and Disney will make more at the outset."

Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.
VCG | Getty Images
Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.

Disney shares traded 2 percent higher Monday afternoon, while Class A shares of 21st Century Fox rose more than 7 percent.

The two sides spoke over the last few weeks, but are not speaking at this very moment, the sources said, and there is no certainty the discussions will lead to a deal.

Officials at Disney and Fox declined to comment to CNBC.

Martin also agreed a potential deal between the two companies is "Disney's Netflix killer."

The entertainment industry has struggled with the rise of on-demand video-streaming services such as Netflix that reduce consumers' need for cable television subscriptions or movie theater tickets.

Disney said in August it plans to remove all its movies from Netflix and launch a branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019.

Netflix shares traded about half a percent lower Monday afternoon.

Martin said Disney's business is doing better than Fox's because of "diversification." With distinct franchises — including Marvel, Pixar and Disney films such as "Frozen" — she said, Disney is on a "red-hot film streak."

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