World Economy

Comcast Challenges Fox, Disney With $31b Sky Bid

Comcast Challenges Fox, Disney With $31b Sky BidComcast Challenges Fox, Disney With $31b Sky Bid

Comcast jumped into the fray for Sky Plc, challenging Rupert Murdoch’s 21 Century Fox Inc. and Walt Disney Co. with a cash offer valuing the business at £22.1 billion ($31 billion) and opening the possibility of a bidding contest for the UK’s biggest pay-TV company.

After months spent scoping out Sky’s technology platform and content proposition of sports and entertainment across five countries, the owner of NBC Universal offered 12.50 pounds per Sky share on Tuesday. That exceeds the £10.75 offered by Fox for the 61% stake it doesn’t already own in the European broadcaster by about 16%, Bloomberg reported.

Comcast sprung the offer on Sky Tuesday morning, its timing suggesting it sees an opening to win over UK officials and investors. Fox has been struggling to secure regulatory approval for its bid and some Sky holders have been agitating for a better offer after Disney’s $52.4 billion agreement in December to buy most of Fox’s film and TV assets, including its stake in Sky. Fox would hand full control of Sky to Disney if its takeover is successful.

Fox will be furious after Comcast’s bid, said Crispin Odey, Murdoch’s former son-in-law and founder of hedge fund manager Odey Asset Management, which owns a 0.8% stake in Sky according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “This is tanks on their lawn,” said Odey, who has been pushing for a higher offer for Sky.

Sky shares rose as much as 20% to 1,323.50 pence, higher than both bids and the most since Fox’s offer in December 2016.


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