Sony’s Tony Vinciquerra: Disney-Fox ‘Creates Opportunities’

Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra sent a note to staff Thursday in the wake of the Disney-Fox deal confirming that the company had kicked the tires on Fox and that it will continue to pursue possible acquisitions in the future.

Vinciquerra’s memo followed 21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch’s public assertions in a conference call Thursday on the heels of the Disney deals announcement that the company would be looking to partner with studios such as Sony and Warner Bros. after selling off the bulk of its entertainment properties to the Walt Disney Co. Speculation has emerged on the fox lot that 21st Century Fox could use profits from the Disney deal to fund the acquisition of a new studio.

The SPE chief also wrote, “we did take a run at the Fox assets when we learned of their availability, and will continue to aggressively look for new avenues of growth for the studio wherever possible.” And he dismissed the notion that SPE might become a target for acquisition, writing, “In this climate, studios will either grow or become a target for acquisition. And as I have mentioned since arriving here last summer, it is my goal to do the former, not the latter.”

Vinciquerra was named SPE CEO in May following the departure four months earlier of Michael Lynton. He headed Fox Networks Group for a decade before stepping down in 2011.

Read the full letter below:

Good afternoon,

As you have all seen by now, Disney’s acquisition of Fox assets today moved closer to becoming a reality. While still subject to regulatory approval, if completed, the deal will mark a sea change in our industry…but not an unexpected one.

As we have discussed on numerous occasions, the entertainment industry is in a time of consolidation. In this climate, studios will either grow or become a target for acquisition. And as I have mentioned since arriving here last summer, it is my goal to do the former, not the latter. Indeed, we did take a run at the Fox assets when we learned of their availability, and will continue to aggressively look for new avenues of growth for the studio wherever possible.

Key to our success in that effort will be to increase our profitability, improve our margins and strengthen our business overall. In the last several months we have made great strides in doing just that. We had a terrific summer at the box office in our motion picture group, and we are looking forward to our holiday tentpole, Jumanji; and our television businesses remain incredibly strong. And throughout all we do, we will continue to foster an environment that attracts top creative talent.

Obviously, a consolidation like Disney-Fox creates disruption and uncertainty, but it can also create opportunities for an organization such as ours, where we have the independence and freedom to work with multiple partners to produce and sell content. I look forward to exploring those and other potential opportunities with all of you as head into 2018.

Tony

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