Murdoch’s Fox raises bid for Sky to $32.5 billion

Brunilde Fioravanti
Luglio 12, 2018

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has increased its offer for the Britain-based Sky television service to $32.5 billion amid the company's bidding war with Comcast.

The improved offer from Fox for the 61% of Sky it does not already own sets a price of £14 per share, which is a 30% rise from its original offer in December 2016 of £10.75 per share and puts the overall valuation of Sky at £24.5 billion.

Indeed, there is speculation that, should Disney prevail in the fight for Fox, Comcast would redouble its efforts to nab Sky, which would add a valuable worldwide component and new revenue stream to the US cable giant's portfolio.

Fox said the performance of Sky since 2016 justified its new bid.

The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed on the side of a building in midtown Manhattan in NY, U.S., February 27, 2018.

The world's biggest entertainment company and owner of NBC and Universal Pictures gate crashed Murdoch's bid for Sky in February. Sky's shares closed at 15.01 pounds on Tuesday, implying shareholders think the battle is not yet over.

"We have long recognised the unique position that Sky occupies", said Gilbert. Sky shares fell as much as 2% in early trading, as some investors had expected a higher counter from Fox (fox). The European pay-TV company has become a pawn in a wider contest between Comcast and Walt Disney (dis) for the bulk of Murdoch's media empire, as each seeks scale to take on streaming competitors like Netflix.

However, completion of the Sky acquisition is not a condition to completion of the Disney deal, nor will it affect the amount or form of consideration that stockholders of 21CF receive in the Disney transaction, Fox said. Those assets include the Fox's Hollywood studios, content library, cable channels, global networks, and a 39-percent stake in Sky.

"Fox coming back in for Sky isn't a surprise in itself, but the fact the offer is slightly behind what some had anticipated brings another twist", said George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

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