Date
21 November 2018
Comcast has raised the stakes in a bidding war with Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox for control of European pay-TV group Sky. Photo: Reuters
Comcast has raised the stakes in a bidding war with Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox for control of European pay-TV group Sky. Photo: Reuters

Comcast ups offer for Sky to US$34 bln in bidding war with Fox

US cable giant Comcast raised its offer for Britain’s Sky to US$34 billion, topping a raised bid of US$32.5 billion for the pay-TV group from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox, Reuters reports.

Comcast on Wednesday increased its cash bid to 14.75 pounds per share and said the offer has been recommended by Sky’s independent committee of directors, according to the report. 

Fox, which has been trying to buy the pan-European group since December 2016, had offered to pay 14 pounds per share, a 12 percent premium to Comcast’s earlier offer.

Comcast in February gatecrashed Murdoch’s attempt to buy the 61 percent of Sky his group did not already own, at a time when Fox was stuck in the regulatory process.

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

“This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world,” Fox has said.

Its offer represents an 82 percent premium to Sky’s shares in 2016 before the takeover drama started, and a multiple of 21 times 2017 earnings per share.

Comcast, meanwhile, had been locked in a separate battle with Walt Disney Co. for acquisition of most of Fox’s entertainment assets.

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RC

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