Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

The Stakes Just Got Higher in the 21st Century Fox v

The offer is likely to be followed up by another from Comcast a rival bidder for Sky which screens hit shows such as Westworld The offer is likely to be followed up by another from Comcast a rival bidder for Sky which screens hit shows such as Westworld
Charles Bowen | 12 July, 2018, 04:40

A month after 21st Century Fox had accepted the House of Mouse's $71.3 billion bid to acquire its film studio and TV assets, an impending lawsuit from a Fox shareholder could bring proceedings to another halt. Comcast said on Wednesday that Sky's independent board committee supports its offer that it plans to mail to Sky shareholders within days. Although the figure now looks to be untouchable, Comcast is expected to reply with its final offer that could climb as high as $90bn.

It advised the government in May that the deal should be allowed to go ahead but only if it sold Sky News to avoid concerns over plurality of media ownership in the UK.

Fox's new offer, which is an all-cash offer, for the 61% of Sky it doesn't already own is approximately $32.5 billion, a 30 percent increase over its previous offer, which was made in December 2016.

"We are please to be announcing a recommended increased offer for Sky today", said Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast. "So it is right that if there is any doubt about whether the proposed solution is workable, then it is the duty of the Secretary of State [Hancock] to ensure that this merger is blocked", Watson told the publication.

The clock was ticking on Fox to make a higher bid for Sky, because Comcast faces a deadline of Friday to formally deliver its offer to shareholders of the London-based company, under United Kingdom takeover rules.

More news: Facebook's Cambridge Analytica could have been worse | Digital

Disney secured conditional US approval to buy the assets last month, giving it an edge over Comcast's bid.

While 21st Century Fox shareholders are poised to meet on July 27 to discuss the Walt Disney Co.

"American consumers have benefitted from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox's cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher", said Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general and head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

To remedy this, Fox has proposed to sell Sky News to Disney as part of a full takeover.

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