Comcast Formalizes $30.7 Billion Bid for Sky

Marcus Newton
April 26, 2018

21st Century Fox has offered to insulate Sky's news operations from the influence of Murdoch and his family, who already own several other media titles in the United Kingdom, to win approval of its bid.

"The independent committee also welcomes the post-offer undertakings and commitments Comcast intends to give in relation to Sky's existing business including Sky News, and believes that these voluntary commitments should comprehensively address any potential public interest concerns".

Comcast's CEO said in a statement: "We are delighted to be formalizing our offer for Sky today".

All eyes are now on the next move by Fox and Disney, with the latter having previously described Sky as the "crown jewel" of Fox's assets. Now, Fox and Disney will likely revisit their bid amount to compete with Comcast as Fox said it remains committed to the takeover and is considering its options.

Comcast is considering whether to urge investors to go with its offer instead, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Wednesday.

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21st Century Fox made its offer in December of 2016 to purchase the 61% of the European pay TV giant that it didn't already own. Sky immediately withdrew its recommendation to its shareholders to accept the Fox bid.

News of the increased offer sent shares of Sky as high as 1402p at one point - suggesting investors expect a full-blown bidding war to break out. Comcast shares, which had fallen 14 percent since February, were 3.5 percent higher, while Fox's rose 2 percent and Disney gained 1.6 percent.

True, some chap called Brian Roberts launched a formal £22 billion possible offer for Sky at £12.50 a share. Sky has a strong business, excellent customer loyalty, and a valued brand.

And in a bid to head off any competition concerns, the group said it would vow not to acquire any majority stake in any United Kingdom newspapers for five years. "We look forward to receiving the necessary regulatory approvals". In reaction to that, Fox has in recent weeks offered new concessions, including an extended commitment to United Kingdom news channel Sky News, to seal regulatory approval of the deal. Comcast is gaming out the possibility of making a public case to the company's shareholders that they should reject the Disney deal, which is expected to come to a vote this summer, and opt for a Comcast tie-up instead, people familiar with the situation say.

The Sky committee noted its duty is to maximize value for shareholders.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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