Rupert Murdoch and his two sons are to get a bonanza worth up to £145million if their sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney goes through.
The 87-year-old mogul is due to pick up a maximum of £47million from the deal.
His sons and fellow Fox directors Lachlan and James will get up to £48.7million and £49.7million respectively.
The payouts were revealed in a stock market filing which shows Murdoch rejected a bid for his media empire by US telecom business Comcast before agreeing to the Disney mega-deal.
Fox held talks with Comcast over several weeks, but the two sides failed to reach a deal because Comcast refused to offer a payment if the tie-up between the two was rejected by regulators.
Mickey Mouse money: Rupert Murdoch and his two sons Lachlan, left, and James, right, are to get a bonanza worth up to £145m if their sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney goes through
Disney, by contrast, has pledged to pay £1.8billion to Fox if their deal is blocked by US competition chiefs.
But the Disney deal is worth £36.8billion – and Comcast’s rejected offer was 16 per cent higher.
Comcast, like Disney, sought to buy Fox’s valuable entertainment networks, movie studios, TV production arm and international businesses, including Sky.
But there were concerns about its proposals because a similar tie-up – between AT&T and Time Warner – has become bogged down by competition fears.
The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed the so-called ‘golden parachute’ payments being doled out to the Murdochs when the takeover goes through.
A total of £145.4million will be paid out if they get severance payments for leaving.
If any stay on and work for Disney the payouts will be lower.
Meanwhile, the paperwork shows that fellow US communications firm Verizon, which bought Yahoo for £3.2billion last year, also made an approach for Fox but was rebuffed. Comcast has now turned its attention to UK TV firm Sky, in which Fox has a 39 per cent stake.
Fox is trying to buy the rest of Sky for £11.7billion, and the whole company would then be sold to Disney as part of the bigger deal.
But Comcast has gatecrashed this bid with an offer of £22.1billion for the whole of Sky.
The approaches sparked a share price surge in the expectation of a bidding war.
Yesterday, Sky reported profits of £1.7billion for the nine months to March, up 10 per cent on a year earlier thanks to a strong performance by its programme division.
The firm’s own shows did well, with Roman drama Britannia notching up 1.9m viewers in its first week.
And its new Sky Q box, which works on multiple screens around the family home, is now in 2.5m homes in the UK, Italy and Ireland.
Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: ‘Against the backdrop of a challenging consumer environment, this performance reflects the continual improvement in our broad set of products and services.’
Darroch added that he has no interest in taking over advertising giant WPP after its founder Sir Martin Sorrell was forced out in the past week over allegations of misconduct.
The Sky boss said: ‘Good luck to them in their change. I wish them well, but I am very happy just focusing on Sky.’
Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor said: ‘In media terms, Sky is the belle of the ball, attracting overseas suitors aplenty.’
He added: ‘This update is another vindication of the interest being shown.’ Sky shares rose 0.8 per cent, or 10.5p, to 1319p, yesterday.