21st Century Fox bids to acquire all of Sky

Friday 9 December 2016 | 17:49 CET | News

21st Century Fox has made an offer to acquire the rest of European pay-TV provider Sky for GBP 10.75 per share in cash. Sky’s share price earlier rose over 30 percent after press reports said Fox would make a bid for the remaining 61 percent stake. The offer values Sky at GBP 18.5 billion.

Sky's independent directors, who have financial advice from Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners and Barclays, told 21st Century Fox that they are willing to recommend the proposal to Sky shareholders, subject to reaching agreement on the other terms. The bid represents a premium of 36 percent to the closing price on 8 December, the day prior to the announcement.

Sky has formed an independent committee of the board to consider the offer. The committee includes Martin Gilbert, Andrew Sukawaty, Jeremy Darroch, Andrew Griffith, Tracy Clarke, Adine Grate, Matthieu Pigasse and Katrin Wehr-Seiter, each of whom the board said it considers to be free from conflicts of interest.

Fox said the merger would bring together its global content business, which includes the Fox TV channels and film studio, National Geographic and half of the Endemol Shine production company, with Sky’s direct-to-consumer capabilities and 22 million customers in five major European markets. It would also enhance Sky’s position in entertainment and sport, with access to Fox's wide range of content, and reinforce the UK’s "standing as a top global hub for content generation and technological innovation", Fox said.

News Corp, the predecessor or 21st Century Fox before it was spun off from the news and media assets of the company, last tried to acquire all of Sky in 2010. However, the company abandoned the deal in the face of resistance from regulators concerned about media plurality if the owner of the UK's leading newspaper The Sun also owned the Sky News TV channel. Since then News Corp has split into two companies, while Sky acquired its sister companies in Germany and Italy to form a larger pay-TV group. 

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

::: add a comment