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techkenyot.com March 20, 2019


Murdoch's 21st Century Fox ups Sky bid to beat rival Comcast

12 July 2018, 04:40 | Elsie Buchanan

Comcast knows it will likely need to divest Fox's regional sports networks if it wants to buy the company's assets

Comcast

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.

But Fox may still face further competition from USA cable giant Comcast which submitted its own bid for Sky in February, valuing the pan European group at 12.50 pounds per share.

The company says this is 12 percent higher than the last bid from Comcast and values Sky at 24.5 billion pounds ($32.5 billion).

Tom Watson, a British Labour Party politician and opponent of Fox's bid to buy Sky, told Variety that a bidding war could be a good thing for shareholders but that it is more important to protect Sky.

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The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed on the side of a building in midtown Manhattan in NY, U.S., February 27, 2018.

The skirmish for control of Sky is being fought in the shadow of an even bigger battle - a struggle for control of prized entertainment assets owned by Fox, including its stake in Sky. Sky's shares closed at £15.01 on Tuesday, suggesting shareholders think the battle is not over.

Britain's former Culture Minister Matt Hancock, who was replaced 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. Since then, Variety reports that Disney has ramped up its efforts, countering with an unprecedented $71.3 billion deal.

"They're way behind the curve still", said Crispin Odey, founder of Odey Asset Management LLP, which owns shares of Sky.

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Both Comcast and Disney have indicated that they would divest Fox's 22 regional sports networks in order to gain approval for their respective deals.

Multinational mass media corporation 21st Century Fox on Wednesday said it has raised its offer to buy United Kingdom's Sky Plc.

Murdoch had previously tried to buy Sky in 2011 when a phone hacking scandal at his News of the World tabloid sparked a political backlash over his role in Britain.

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