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Comcast is expected to raise its offer for Sky

12 July 2018
Comcast is expected to raise its offer for Sky

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox said it had agreed to buy Britain's Sky in a deal valuing the pay-TV group at $32.5 billion, trumping a rival offer from United States group Comcast. Comcast said its bid had the backing of Sky's independent directors.

Comcast's £14.75p a share offer comes within hours of Murdoch making a new £14 a share offer valuing Sky at £24.5bn.

"The publication of the undertakings marks the final stage of the public interest consideration of this case".

20th Century Fox recently set July 27 as the new date for stockholders to vote on the sale of their many film and television assets to The Walt Disney Co., which has also recently received USA anti-trust approval.

He said amended guarantees had been made over Sky News to address concerns over media plurality, as well as changes to the associated brand licensing agreement following responses to the Government's consultation.

The pursuit for Sky is meanwhile further complicated by a battle between Walt Disney and Comcast for key assets of 21st Century Fox.

The skirmish for control of Sky is being fought in the shadow of an even bigger battle - a struggle for control of prized entertainment assets owned by Fox, including its stake in Sky.

Regulators are concerned that Fox's ownership of Sky News would give Murdoch and his family too much influence over United Kingdom media.

Mr Hancock had told Parliament that if terms of a sale of Sky News could not be agreed, the "only effective remedy now would be to block the merger altogether".

Fox upped its offer for Sky by 30% on Wednesday, ahead of the deal getting the green light in the United Kingdom, which prompted Comcast to counter hours later with a richer $34 billion bid.

Sky shares traded at £14.90 as of 9:55 am in London.

The American pay-TV group gatecrashed Murdoch's attempt to buy the 61 per cent of Sky his group did not already own in February, when Fox was firmly stuck in the regulatory process.

"This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world", Fox said. "It is now a matter for the Sky shareholders to decide whether to accept 21CF's bid", Wright said.