Comcast boosts Sky bid to $34M, topping Fox offer in global standoff

Dwayne Harmon
July 13, 2018

Hong Kong-based hedge fund Case Equity Partners, a Sky investor, said the fact Disney was in a slightly more favourable position for Fox's US media assets meant Comcast would fight even harder to get Sky.

Shares in Sky (SKYB.L) jumped higher on Thursday after Comcast (CMCSA.O) submitted a $34 billion (25.74 billion pounds) bid for the group just hours after Rupert Murdoch raised his offer, escalating a trans-Atlantic bidding war for the European pan-TV group. 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.

A successful acquisition of Sky would extend Comcast's reach Europe.

'It is now a matter for the Sky shareholders to decide whether to accept 21st Century Fox's bid'.

In the U.S., it has been in a separate bidding war with Comcast - the nation's largest cable TV provider - to buy 21st Century Fox's film and TV studios.

"We have long admired Sky, which we believe is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast".

The Sky logo is seen on outside of an entrance to offices and studios in west London, Britain June 29, 2017.

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Should Disney succeed, it will obtain Fox's 39 per cent stake in Sky as part of the package.

Should a deal for Fox's assets - including the 39% share of Sky - close before control of the satcaster is resolved, the winning bidder would be required to make an offer for the remaining 61% of Sky, according to United Kingdom takeover rules. Is this the deal that inspires more or scares off others?

Fox, which has been trying to buy the pan-European group since December 2016, offered to pay 14 British pounds per share, a 12 per cent premium to Comcast's earlier offer.

The British broadcaster has been the subject of a fierce bidding war between Fox and USA cable giant Comcast.

The UK government has already said it's likely to approve Fox's bid for Sky after Fox satisfied concerns over media plurality.

Sky's independent directors accepted the latest Fox offer. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

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