Comcast becomes majority shareholder of Sky

12 Octobre, 2018, 18:30 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • CREDIT ANGELA PHAM  BFA  REX  SHUTTERSTOCK DAVID VINTINER

Team Sky have declined to comment on the takeover of backers Sky plc by U.S. cable giant Comcast, but insiders said they were confident the team would be unaffected.

As a result of Comcast's offer becoming unconditional, seven directors have resigned from the Sky board with immediate effect, including James Murdoch.

That remains to be seen but Team Sky are certainly thinking and acting long-term.

Along with Fox, the corporation had been in a bidding war for Sky since earlier this year. The proceeds from Fox's stake in Sky will go to Disney to lighten the cost of its $71.3 billion Fox purchase.

"We wish they had walked away" when it became clear Comcast would have to pay £30.6 billion to beat a rival bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for a controlling stake in Sky.

"We are also fully committed to ensuring Sky News' future, maintaining its editorial independence, and preserving its strong track record for trusted, high quality, impartial news", Roberts added in reference to the 24-hour rolling channel.

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Comcast said it held almost 77 percent of Sky's shares, making its takeover wholly unconditional.

The U.S. cable company is now the majority shareholder of Sky which enjoys nearly 23 million European viewers, owning more than 75 percent of the European satellite company's issued ordinary share capital.

James Murdoch had been chairman of Sky since April 2016, having previously served as chief executive from 2003 to 2007 and in a previous spell as chairman from 2007 to 2012.

"Comcast have committed to investment in Sky, including our. headquarters and we very much look forward to working with Brian and the Comcast team to achieve further growth and development of Sky's business", Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said in Tuesday's statement.

The closing moves its acquisition of the United Kingdom broadcaster a step closer to completion; Sky's listing on the London Stock Exchange will be cancelled on 7 November.

United Kingdom culture minister Jeremey Wright had urged Comcast to ensure the independence of Sky News.

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