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Comcast lining up buyers for Fox sports assets

13 July, 2018, 10:15 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Mai Fyfield is viewed as one of the main architects of Sky's success

Comcast Corp has raised its offer for Britain's Sky in a deal valuing the pay-TV group at $US34 billion ($A46 billion), topping a raised bid of $US32.5 billion from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. "I think it will go at about 18 pounds". Murdoch has a deal to sell Fox's entertainment assets including its Sky stake to Disney, though Comcast is weighing another bid for the Fox portfolio.

Fox's bid for Sky is the most recent episode in Murdoch's long-running effort to take full control of the company.

Sky has always been seen as Comcast's priority by many analysts when it came to bidding on Fox, though it was previously believed that Comcast might be making a play for 100 percent ownership of Sky prior to the bidding war with Disney.

Fox has increased its bid by just over 30% since its first offer in December 2016.

A spokesman for Comcast declined to comment on how the company will respond.

Sky's independent directors accepted the latest Fox offer.

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Murdoch is aiming to takeover the 61% of Sky he doesn't already own through 21st Century Fox, which owns assets including the Hollywood studio behind films including X-Men and Deadpool.

The Government had been concerned over the impact that Fox's takeover of Sky could have on United Kingdom media, given that the Murdoch family also owns News Corp - the publisher of a raft of newspapers including The Sun and The Times.

Fox's takeover plan is expected to receive formal approval from the United Kingdom authorities this week after more than 18 months of investigations. "This offer reflects the strong position the business is in and is an attractive premium for shareholders".

Sky operates in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Italy as well as the U.K. It has 22.5 million customers, attracted by offerings such as English Premier League soccer and "Game of Thrones".

However, British regulators have indicated that if Disney succeeds in buying Fox, including the 39 percent stake in Sky, it would be required to offer the same price for the remainder of Sky.

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