Sunday 16 December 2018

Comcast launches £22bn bid for Sky

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

US telecommunications giant Comcast Corporation has announced a bid for Sky worth approximately £22bn (€25bn).

The move is a direct challenge to Rupert Murdoch’s takeover bid for Sky.

Comcast, which owns NBC Universal, has proposed an all-cash offer of £12.50 for each Sky share, which the group said represents a 16pc premium on the current bid from Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

"We think that Sky would be very valuable to us as we look to expand our presence internationally," Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast said.

"We would like to own the whole of Sky and we will be looking to acquire over 50pc of the Sky shares," Mr Roberts continued.

"We are confident that we will be able to receive the necessary regulatory approvals. If successful, the acquisition will enhance our free cash flow per share in the first year."

21st Century Fox currently owns 39pc of Sky and Mr Murdoch’s bid to buy the 61pc of Sky it does not already own has faced a number of challenges.

Earlier this month campaign group Avaaz said that the decision by UK regulators that 21st Century Fox would be a "fit and proper" owner of Sky would be challenged in a British court.

Last month Britain's competition regulator said that 21st Century Fox’s bid for Sky should be blocked unless a way is found to prevent Murdoch, who owns the 'Times' and the 'Sun' newspapers, from influencing Sky's news output.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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