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

Sky's the limit: Comcast raises bid to $34bn

Sky's the limit: Comcast raises bid to $34bn

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox on Wednesday revealed it had increased a takeover offer for pan-European TV group Sky, valuing the group at £24.5 billion and trumping Comcast's rival offer.

The company says this is 12% higher than the last bid from US -based Comcast. The move launched a bidding war between Disney and Comcast, with the former company updating their initial offer to $71.3 billion split evenly between cash and stock.

Comcast may instead try to get the Sky network, which Fox now owns 39% of the company.

A potential resolution to the takeover battles for 21st Century Fox and Sky seemed to emerge Wednesday, but investors can expect more twists before this drama ends. "It is now a matter for the Sky shareholders to decide whether to accept 21CF's bid".

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WSJ reports Comcast upped their offer for Sky, which is a price likely not to be topped, which means Comcast could walk away with Sky, while Disney gets the rest of Fox.

Present in 23 million homes across Europe, Sky is a prized asset, with a slate of top sport and original drama content.

Fox shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Disney deal on July 27.

Fox will be hoping to see off competition from Comcast after a long battle to buy the remaining stake in Sky, having faced heavy scrutiny from the Government and the competition watchdog.

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Sky has been thrust into the centre of a global tussle between media giants Disney and Comcast as they lead a fightback against the might of Amazon and Netflix. According to some shareholders, that has set an implied higher floor for Sky's shares. Analysts said it was not a knock-out, and Fox did not say it was its final offer.

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

Jeremy Wright, who replaced Matt Hancock as Britain's culture and media secretary earlier this week, announced the clearance of Fox's bid on Thursday after months of regulatory review. The opposition has not completely subsided despite the plan to spin off Sky News.

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