According to 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice, Fox will be ready to close the Disney buyout as soon as January 1, 2019. The details will be finalized by the beginning of the new year.
Variety reports that Rice broke the news to employees on the Fox lot alongside John Nalle. Nallen will serve as the COO of New Fox, which will house the Fox assets not picked up by Disney.
Rice told employees that, while the full effects of the buyout by Disney will come by the second quarter of 2019, New Fox will be ready to go by the first day of the new year. While some questions remain over the regulatory terms for the new company, others question how much of the Fox staff will keep their jobs after the merger. It is expected that most of the New Fox division will retain their positions, though a higher number of employees transferring over to Disney will be laid off.
The purchase of Fox gives Disney control of a number of properties, including Alien and The Simpsons. To Marvel fans, the announcement also means that characters from X-Men and Fantastic Four will be able to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Rice is set to join Disney as the head of their entertainment TV operations after the acquisition is finalized.