Comcast offers $31 billion for Sky, setting up Fox showdown

Apr 26, 2018, 06:48
Comcast offers $31 billion for Sky, setting up Fox showdown

For its part, 21st Century Fox also issued a statement regarding the announcement on Wednesday, in which it maintained that the company is "committed to its recommended cash offer for Sky announced on 15th December 2016 and is now considering its options".

Comcast has made a firm cash offer for Sky that values the pay TV operator at £22 billion (€25 billion), with a commitment to maintain annual expenditure on Sky News for at least 10 years and to establish an independent editorial board for the channel.

Comcast, the owner of NBC and Universal Pictures, said it was delighted to be formalising its offer.

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American communications company Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) announced on Wednesday that they will be offering a bid to purchase the UK-based communications and entertainment company, Sky PLC (LSE:SKY.L)...

The formal bid kicks off what has been a long-expected corporate takeover battle pitting Comcast against Rupert Murdoch's 21st Fox over the European TV giant. (FOX, FOXA) on 15 December 2016 and is now terminating the Co-operation Agreement entered into with Twenty-First Century Fox on the same date.

In recent weeks, Mr. Hohn spoke on the phone with Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts and probed Comcast's interest in launching a public bid for Fox's assets, people familiar with the situation said.

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Comcast has confirmed that under the terms of its acquisition, Sky shareholders will be entitled to receive £12.50 in cash for each Sky share.

Sky responded by saying it was withdrawing its recommendation of the Fox deal - paving the way for bids to be raised.

Sky has withdrawn its recommendation to shareholders for that bid to proceed following the Comcast offer. "It is led by a terrific management team who we look forward to working with to build and grow this business", Roberts added. Comcast shares, which had fallen 14 percent since February, were 3.5 percent higher, while Fox's rose 2 percent and Disney gained 1.6 percent. This, it says, represents a 16% premium to the existing 21st Century Fox offer.

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And in a bid to head off any competition concerns, the group said it would vow not to acquire any majority stake in any United Kingdom newspapers for five years. There's no switching them off. Take Rupert Murdoch's efforts to buy the 61 per cent of Sky he doesn't already control. Sky was expected to have become part of the Mouse House if the former deal goes ahead.