The hopes of Rupert Murdoch to acquire Sky successfully apparently have bene roadblocked by a rival bid of £22 billion bid by the US Media giant Comcast.
A number of regulatory issues have held up the takeover of a 61 per cent stake of Sky that it does not already own by Murdoch’s Fox. The two companies had reached an agreement to the same sometime back.
The recommendation by Sky to its shareholders to support for Fox’s bid was withdrawn by the company following the announcement by Comcast on Wednesday. Sky had bene valued at £19 billion by the offer from Murdoch. The stocks of Sky rose by as much as 3 per cent after the offer of £12.50 per share from Comcast on Wednesday. The company had tabled a bid in February and has now formalised that approach.
“We are delighted to be formalising our offer for Sky today,” Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts said.
“We have long believed Sky is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast. Sky has a strong business, excellent customer loyalty, and a valued brand. It is led by a terrific management team who we look forward to working with to build and grow this business.”
Considered to be amongst the largest of the broadcasting companies of the world, Comcast is the owners of channels such as MSNBC, CNBC and The Weather Channel, and also the owners of Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation.
In the U.K. market, the company has already invested over $1bn (£700m) in film and TV productions through the London based NBCUniversal business and there is already around 1,300 employees of the company in the country. the company is also a leading phone service provider in the US and also uses its Xfinity brand to provide internet services
A host of anti-trust concerns raised by U.S. regulators had resulted in the cancelling of a proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable by the company in 2014.
Attempts to strike a deal that would have seen Comcast snap up Fox’s assets was pursued by the company last year. It however later dropped the attempts which allowed the Walt Disney to make its bid for purchase of most of the Fox’s film, television and international assets for a deal offer worth $52 billion.
If the Comcast’s bid to take over Sky goes through, then it would create the sixth biggest UK targeted M&A deal on record, according to data analytics group Dealogic.
(Adapted form TheIndipendent.co.uk)