Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Ups Sky Bid to Beat Rival Comcast

12 Juillet, 2018, 04:40 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Mai Fyfield is viewed as one of the main architects of Sky's success

In an extraordinary day of bid and counterbid, the £14-a-share offer for the 61 per cent of Sky that Fox does not already own, which has been approved by Sky's independent directors, was capped in the evening, after Wall Street had closed, by a £14.75-a-share cash bid from Comcast.

Comcast has said that Sky is very important because it could take the USA -bound cable and internet giant into global markets.

The move by the NBC owner came less than 24 hours after 21st Century Fox increased its offer to £24.5bn.

21st Century Fox is the parent company of FOX News and FOX Business.

Murdoch's company still faces significant regulatory battles in Britain, including the culture secretary's statement that Fox would have to sell Sky News to win government approval because of concerns about media plurality. This values the European pay-TV group at $32.5B, trumping Comcast's earlier $31B (£12.50 per share) offer.

It's not clear yet whether Comcast will also increase its bid for 21st Century Fox to counter Disney's latest $71 billion offer. The complaint alleges that Fox's prospectus filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission after the company accepted Disney's offer was incomplete.

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Comcast and Walt Disney (DIS.N) are locked in a separate $70 billion-plus battle to buy most of Fox's assets, which would include Sky.

"We have long recognised the unique position that Sky occupies", said Gilbert.

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

Fox said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal.

However, British regulators have indicated that if Disney succeeds in buying Fox, including the 39 percent stake in Sky, it would be required to offer the same price for the remainder of Sky.

"American consumers have benefitted from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox's cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher", said Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general and head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

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