Comcast parries Rupert Murdoch's Sky bid with £26bn offer

Adjust Comment Print

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox says it has agreed to buy Britain's Sky in a deal valuing the pay-TV group at $32.5 billion, trumping a rival offer from the United States group Comcast.

"We could be seeing a bidding prioritization by Comcast for Sky over Fox, perhaps due to the fact that Comcast cannot afford both, and has to choose its battles", Cahall wrote.

Comcast on Wednesday said its cash offer had been recommended by Sky's independent committee of directors and that it has committed financing required for the deal. Is this the deal that inspires more or scares off others?


British pay-TV group Sky said Wednesday it accepted a sharply increased offer from 21st Century Fox to acquire the pan-European company, according to the Financial Times. Those assets include the Fox's Hollywood studios, content library, cable channels, global networks, and a 39-percent stake in Sky. Comcast just raised its offer for European pay-tv giant Sky.

Comcast has said that Sky is very important because it could take the USA -bound cable and internet giant into global markets. Sky's shares closed at 15.01 pounds on Tuesday, implying shareholders think the battle is not yet over.

Richard Greenfield at BTIG said however he thought Disney needed to buy Sky to secure a direct relationship with customers in Europe so it could sell them its vast range of programming. Comcast faces a deadline of Friday to put its offer to Sky shareholders.


"Disney's internal forecasts now, on the basis of the cash flows they've published for Sky, would value it at 16 pounds", he said. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

KitGuru Says: No matter who ends up getting their hands on Fox's assets, the loss of competition from such a large player in the market is sure to be felt across the entertainment industry.

Fox's long-running pursuit for all of Sky has been plagued by United Kingdom government fears over media plurality and broadcasting standards and the influence of Australian-born U.S. citizen Murdoch. The opposition has not completely subsided despite the plan to spin off Sky News.


Comments