Published: Чт, Июля 12, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Rupert Murdoch gets go-ahead to bid for all of Sky

Rupert Murdoch gets go-ahead to bid for all of Sky

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.

It came after Fox raised its bid to £14 a share on Wednesday from the £10.75 a share offered when it first made a bid for Sky 18 months ago.

The clock was ticking on Fox to make a higher bid for Sky, because Comcast faces a deadline of Friday to formally deliver its offer to shareholders of the London-based company, under United Kingdom takeover rules.

The quick counteroffer suggests that the war to seize control of Britain's biggest pay-TV company is heating up, since the previous bid was $31 billion from Comcast in April.

"Investors are now close to doubling their money as a result of the bidding war for Sky, and there may yet be another twist in this tale which will swell their coffers even more", Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said.

Comcast said its cash offer has been recommended by Sky's independent committee of directors and that it has committed the financing required for the deal.

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"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.

Jeff Wlodarczak at Pivotal Research Group said Comcast may succeed in winning Sky but lose out on Fox to Disney.

The pursuit for Sky is meanwhile further complicated by a battle between Walt Disney and Comcast for key assets of 21st Century Fox.

U.S. media giant Comcast threw its hat into the ring in February with a £22bn offer for Sky, trumping an offer from Fox, and starting a bidding war. Britain's former Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, who was replaced on Monday night with Jeremy Wright in a cabinet shakeup, had said he was willing to let the takeover go ahead, provided Fox sold Sky's 24-hour news channel to Disney.

Regulators are concerned that Fox's ownership of Sky News would give Murdoch and his family too much influence over United Kingdom media. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

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