21st Century Fox Taking Majority Control of National Geographic Brand
Washington – 21st Century Fox and The National Geographic Society have been partners for 18 years and are expanding on this collaboration. A new JV will combine National Geographic Channels with the brand’s other digital, media and publishing, travel and licensing assets. The new entity will be owned 73 percent by 21st Century Fox and 27 percent by The National Geographic Society, with a shared governance structure and equal representation on the board of directors.
Consideration for the transaction is valued at $725 million. As a result, the Society’s endowment will significantly increase to nearly $1 billion.
The new expanded JV will operate as National Geographic Partners, which brings together the National Geographic TV channels with National Geographic’s other media and consumer-oriented assets. This includes National Geographic magazines, National Geographic Studios, related digital and social media platforms, books, maps, children’s media and ancillary activities.
Declan Moore, a 20-year veteran of The National Geographic Society who is currently serving as chief media officer, has been appointed CEO of National Geographic Partners.
“The expansion of our nearly two decade partnership with 21st Century Fox is another milestone for The National Geographic Society, which for much of its 127 years has sponsored groundbreaking scientists and explorers and shared the knowledge and wonder with the world, using the best and most creative media platforms of each era,” said Gary Knell, National Geographic Society’s president and CEO. “The value generated by this transaction, including the consistent and attractive revenue stream that National Geographic Partners will deliver, ensures that we will have greater resources for this work, which includes our grant-making programs that support scientists and explorers around the world. As media organizations work to meet the increasing demand for high-quality storytelling across multiple platforms, it’s clear that the opportunity to grow by more closely aligning our branded content and licensing assets is the right path. We now will have the scale and reach to continue to fulfill our mission long into the future. The Society’s work will be the engine that feeds our content creation efforts, enabling us to share that work with even larger audiences and achieve more impact. It’s a virtuous cycle.”
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