21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch added $581 million to his net worth Thursday, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index, as traders rewarded him for selling off a majority of his company’s assets to Disney.
The deal will see Disney buy $66.1 billion-worth of 21st Century Fox, which he formed just a few years ago to oversee his entertainment groups (Murdoch is also chairman of Newscorp, which controls his non-entertainment units).
It’s the biggest acquisition in Disney’s history, and a surprising sale for the 86-year-old media mogul who has kept a close watch over a business empire he spent decades building.
“I know a lot of you are wondering, ‘Why are the Murdochs making such a momentous decision? Are we retreating?’ Absolutely not,” Murdoch said on a call with analysts. “We are pivoting at a pivotal moment.”
When the deal closes, Murdoch will find himself $4 billion richer, Bloomberg reports. He’s already made $2 billion since rumors of a sale were first floated in November. He’ll see the other $2 billion once regulators approve the deal.
21st Century Fox shares ended Thursday trading up 6.5%.
Murdoch’s net worth as of Thursday stands at $14.3 billion. Currently, he’s the 87th-richest person in the world.