Sky accepts higher 21st Century Fox bid

12 July, 2018, 04:38 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Mai Fyfield is viewed as one of the main architects of Sky's success

Comcast acted swiftly after Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox announced in the wee hours of Wednesday morning that it would pay the equivalent of $32.5 billion for Sky, topping Comcast's existing $31 billion offer for a business that many believe could be facing modest future growth in its core satellite-television business as Europeans look more to streaming entertainment.

21st Century Fox has increased its bid to acquire the 61% of the hotly-contested Sky that it does not now own. Disney said in June it is offering more than $71 billion for Fox's entertainment businesses in a counterbid to Comcast's almost $66 billion offer.

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

But Fox may still face further competition from USA cable giant Comcast which submitted its own bid for Sky in February, valuing the pan European group at 12.50 pounds per share. Subscribe today and listen on the go!

Fox, which is expecting to get regulatory approval from Britain this week after striking an initial deal with Sky in December 2016, upped its offer to 14 pounds per share, from its earlier 10.75 pounds per share. "So it is right that if there is any doubt about whether the proposed solution is workable, then it is the duty of the Secretary of State [Hancock] to ensure that this merger is blocked", Watson told the publication.


Disney's bid to buy out the majority of Fox's entertainment assets was the talk of the town past year, until the two companies hit a roadblock - an anti-competitive complaint by the Department of Justice.

Comcast tabled a proposal of £12.50 per share for Sky in February, and Sky's stock has traded consistently above the Comcast offer as investors anticipated Fox or Disney would come back with more.

Sky operates in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Italy as well as the U.K. It has 22.5 million customers, attracted by offerings such as English Premier League soccer and "Game of Thrones". Disney has agreed to take ownership of Sky if it succeeds in its effort to purchase 21st Century Fox.

The Department of Justice highlighted that Disney already owned a good chunk of the sports entertainment industry with ESPN, claiming that Fox's added assets would result in anti-competitive domination of the field. Its board had previously approved Fox's takeover of the company, but withdrew that blessing after Comcast unveiled its counteroffer in April.

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