The Walt Disney Company founded in 1923 has been acquiring other companies and brands under its umbrella steadily since it got established. Today it’s estimated worth is $130 billion. It has many giant media empires and other businesses under it. While there are many sister sites people know as Disney’s acquired companies but there are over 10 companies people don’t realize are owned by Disney.
21st Century Fox
In 2019, Disney purchased 21st Century Fox for $71 billion and relaunched it as Disney Plus
streaming service. Fox’s famous, and biggest productions including “The Americans,” ”This Is Us,” and “Modern Family” have been acquired by Disney. They have removed “Fox” from the name of 20th Century Fox movie production studio and as part of the deal also have National Geographic in their kitty.
When it bought 21st Century Fox, as a part of their massive deal Disney also got National Geographic group which produces magazines, television shows, books, and documentaries about nature, wildlife, and travel.
FX and Hulu
Yes, the ownership deal with 21st Century Fox also included the popular show channel FX that hosts shows such as “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “Fargo.”
Before the merger happened, Disney owned 30% of Hulu and now owns 60% while the other 40 percent is owned by Comcast (30%) and WarnerMedia (10%). There are talks that soon Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, and Hulu will be one streaming service.
The Muppets Studio
The Jim Henson Company owned the Muppets studio before it was acquired by Disney. In 2004, Disney bought the studio along with “Bear in the Big Blue House.”
Yes, the Avengers starring Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo, makers are not independent anymore. Marvel joined the Disney family in 2009 after Disney paid $4 billion. In his memoir “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,” CEO Bob Iger writes many executives initially didn’t want Disney to acquire Marvel as it was a different brand from Disney.
They thought it was “too edgy” and “would tarnish the Disney brand,” he mentioned. But the deal worked for Disney as MCU earned over $22.5 billion worldwide over 23 movies, and “Avengers: Endgame” left “Avatar” behind to become the biggest movie of all time with $2.8 billion globally.
In 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm by paying $4 billion. The deal included Star Wars and Indiana Jones too. Disney earned the money back with “The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One,” and “The Last Jedi,” as they collected $4.06 billion at the box office.
ABC & ESPN
In the 90s, the Walt Disney Company bought Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion renaming it as ABC, Inc. The deal included popular shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Bachelor,” and “Dancing with the Stars”. Majority of ESPN is also owned by Disney as Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. owns 80% of ESPN. The New York Times published that Disney bought it for $19 billion in 1996.