Comcast is expected to raise its offer for Sky

Yolanda Curtis
July 12, 2018

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has increased its bid to take full control of Sky in its prolonged battle with Comcast for the lucrative pay TV service. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has raised its offer for Britain's Sky.

Murdoch's Fox said the performance of Sky since December 2016, including the renewal of the right to show English Premier League matches at a lower price than expected, justified its higher offer. His new offer made on Wednesday, at £14.00 a share, once again won over Sky's independent directors who recommended the new £24.5bn deal.

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.

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Fox's latest £14 per share bid, announced early on Wednesday, was a substantial increase on the £10.75 it first put forward in December 2016, and also trumped Comcast's initial £12.50 offer. Subscribe today and listen on the go!

Comcast has said that Sky is very important because it could take the US -bound cable and internet giant into global markets.

Disney and Comcast are also locked in a separate $70 billion-plus battle to buy most of Fox's assets, which include the 39 percent stake of Sky it already owns and the rest of the company if it emerges triumphant in Britain.

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But Disney and Fox are determined to keep their deal together - Murdoch has favored Disney in negotiations over the sale of 21st Century Fox assets, including Fox's stake in Sky, to Disney.

However, completion of the Sky acquisition is not a condition to completion of the Disney deal, nor will it affect the amount or form of consideration that stockholders of 21CF receive in the Disney transaction, Fox said. Of the assets he's seeking to acquire from Fox, Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger called Sky "a real crown jewel". Analysts said it was not a knock-out, and Fox did not say it was its final offer.

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