Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Disney forced into takeover offer for Sky by United Kingdom authority

Disney forced into takeover offer for Sky by United Kingdom authority

The panel's decision was based on a determination that securing control of Sky "might reasonably be considered to be a significant objective of Disney's acquiring control of Fox", according to the statement.

It means that even if Fox's plans to take over Sky are blocked as a result of an investigation by competition regulators, Disney would still have to offer Sky's shareholders a deal at the same price of 1075p per share.

Disney would have to bid £10.75 per Sky share upon completing the acquisition of Fox assets, which include an existing 39% in Sky, and if Fox or Comcast Corp. don't first buy the European pay-TV company, according to a statement on Thursday from the panel.

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Britain's Takeover Panel has ruled that Disney must offer to buy all of Sky if it succeeds in its planned purchase of the majority of 21st Century Fox.

US cable company Comcast said on 27 February that it was considering making an offer for Sky.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority is now reviewing Fox's bid for Sky and is due to report back to British culture secretary Matt Hancock by May 1, who will then have 30 days to decide whether or not to approve the deal.

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Fox has been trying to buy the remaining stake in Sky but has faced regulatory hurdles in completing the deal. It also said that Disney was interested in acquiring Sky News. Rice said the new company will probably just be called "Fox".

Sky separately said that shareholders should not take any action, and further advice will be announced in due course.

Mr Watson, who is shadow culture secretary, said the news of the raid of Fox's office is "concerning". The agreement was related to the disclosure of information for enabling Fox and Disney to assess and obtain antitrust approvals needed for the proposed acquisition of Fox by Disney including the indirect acquisition of Fox's interest in Sky.

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Each of Disney, Fox and Sky has accepted these rulings.

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