Officially announced shortly before this past Christmas, the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney is expected to be completed by Summer of 2019 according to Fox president Peter Rice. With a purchase price of nearly $53 billion in stock, Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses, while Fox retains their Fox News Channel, Fox Broadcasting, and FS1/FS2 sports channels.

An article posted on Deadline provides us with the following update:

21st Century Fox president Peter Rice held the first of two town hall meetings on the lot today to reassure Fox Networks Group staffers amid jitters related to the pending acquisition by The Walt Disney Co. of key Fox assets, including 20th Century Fox movie studio, 20th Century Fox Television TV studio and FX Networks. There were no pressing issues on the agenda, with Rice just providing an update on the process (and also revealing his favorite Disney character — it’s Goofy).

While there had been some optimistic early estimates that the deal, announced last December, could go through regulatory approval faster, Rice told Fox employees that the transaction will most likely be completed by spring-summer 2019 and end of summer 2019 at the latest. That would fall within the conservative 18-month initial projection (The original expectations were that the deal would close in 12-18 months).