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Foxtel, Fox Sports merger finalised

Foxtel, Fox Sports merger finalised

Merge

Allens announced on Monday it had advised News Corp on the merger between Foxtel and Fox Sports, which was finalised last week.

Firm: Allens (News Corp); Gilbert & Tobin (Telstra)

Deal: Under the finalised agreement, News Corp will hold 65 per cent of the newly merged entity, while Telstra will own the remaining 35 per cent.

Prior to the agreement, News Corp owned Fox Sports outright and 50 per cent of Foxtel, with Telstra owning the other half of Foxtel.

Moving forward, News Corp will appoint four directors, including the chairman, to the combined entity’s board, and Telstra will appoint two directors.

Value: Undisclosed (non-cash deal)

Area: Mergers & Acquisitions

Key players: The Allens team advising News Corp was headed by Kylie Brown, lead corporate partner, and Jacqueline Downes, the firm’s competition, consumer and regulatory group head.

In addition, the team consisted of corporate partner Chelsey Drake, senior associates Lizzie Fuller, Chris Travers and Amanda Richman, and associates Gillian Hayden and Jack Ducommun.

Deal significance: “We are delighted to have worked with News Corp on another landmark deal in Australia,” Ms Brown said.

“The combination of the two businesses will see enhanced offerings for sports and entertainment content consumers.”

Ms Downes added: “The production, distribution and consumption of media has changed dramatically in recent years and as a result we’ve seen increasingly innovative action from content providers like Foxtel.”

This is a trend, she said, that is expected to continue in the coming years.

“This deal also provided an interesting case study on the ACCC’s evolving approach to mergers in the rapidly changing media and content markets,” she commented.

Allens noted it provided advice on all corporate and competition aspects of the deal, including obtaining FIRB and ACCC clearance.

News Corp and Telstra expect the transaction to be completed during the final quarter of this financial year.

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