Sky’s dramatic takeover battle escalates with new Comcast bid

25 Apr 2018

Sky TV remote. Image: Pepgooner/Shutterstock

Comcast to compete with Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for pan-European broadcaster Sky.

American cable TV giant Comcast has entered the fray to take over Sky, offering £12.50 per share, effectively valuing the company at £22bn ($31bn).

The move pitches Comcast against 21st Century Fox (21CF), which has offered £10.75 a share and which has agreed to sell its entertainment assets to Walt Disney.

The bid by Comcast is a serious blow for Murdoch whose attempts at ownership of the remaining 61pc of Sky that 21CF doesn’t claim has been a long-running battle.

Comcast is the largest cable TV provider in the US and owns the broadcast TV network NBC as well as Universal Pictures.

Following the Comcast bid, Sky said it is withdrawing its recommendation for the Fox bid.

What did the Fox say?

“The independent committee of Sky welcomes today’s announcement by Comcast of its firm intention to make a £12.50-per-share pre-conditional cash offer for Sky,” it said in a statement.

“As a result of the announcement of this higher cash offer, the independent committee is withdrawing its recommendation of the offer announced by 21st Century Fox on 15 December 2016, and is now terminating the cooperation agreement entered into with 21st Century Fox on the same date.”

21CF, whose bid values pan-European TV operator Sky at around £19bn, said that it is weighing up its options.

“21CF remains committed to its recommended cash offer for Sky announced on 15th December 2016 and is currently considering its options,” the company said. “A further announcement will be made in due course.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years