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Shareholders Want to Stop Disney’s Fox Acquisition

by Eric Frederiksen | July 10, 2018July 10, 2018 3:30 pm EDT

Marvel fans have been watching with bated breath for months as Fox and Disney dance around the idea of a sale of Fox’s assets to the entertainment giant. This would mean that the X-Men and Fantastic Four would finally go back home to Marvel and that Disney would have control of the original cuts of the Star Wars movies. For geeks, it seems like a huge win. Shareholders, though, don’t agree, and one shareholder has filed a lawsuit against Fox seeking to put a stop to the transaction, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Shareholder Robert Weiss filed his lawsuit last Friday in Delaware’s federal court. The lawsuit asserts that the statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is misrepresenting Fox’s financial projections and other financial data, and that investor Goldman Sachs’ conflicts of interest haven’t been fully disclosed.

The suit points specifically to the omission of forecasts for Hulu and Fox’s European broadcasting arm, Sky, as well as questions about Goldman Sachs involvement in creating its projections.

“Stockholders need such information in order to make a fully informed voting or appraisal decision,” said Weiss in his complaint. “Stockholders will be forced to make a voting or appraisal decision on the proposed transaction without full disclosure of all material information concerning the proposed transaction being provided to them.” Weiss is seeking a preliminary hold on the transaction with the potential for the deal to be rescinded with damages awarded later.

Fox has been the ball at the center of a back and forth between prospective buyers Disney and Comcast for some months now. Disney’s latest offer climbed to $71.3 billion at $38 per share, raising the deal by more than $20 billion from its original offer. The Justice Department approved the sale on the condition that Fox’s sports networks are divested, as Disney already owns ESPN, and Disney has agreed to this. Fox’s primary network and local affiliates would be untouched in the sale.

Fox told Deadline that it considers the suit “frivolous.”