Fox raises Sky offer to $32 billion in battle with Comcast

12 Julio, 2018, 04:40 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • The offer is likely to be followed up by another from Comcast a rival bidder for Sky which screens hit shows such as Westworld

A top Sky shareholder told Reuters that Comcast is expected to respond with a higher offer for the company.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, an executive for 20th Century Fox has filed a lawsuit to put a stop to the sale of 21st Century Fox's studio assets to Disney, which he claims violates securities rules. Sky's shares closed at 15.01 pounds on Tuesday, implying shareholders think the battle is not yet over.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice gave the go-ahead to Disney's acquisition of the Fox assets, asking Disney, which owns sports network ESPN, to divest all of Fox's 22 regional sports networks, known as RSNs, on antitrust grounds. Disney said in June it is offering more than $71 billion for Fox's entertainment businesses in a counterbid to Comcast's almost $66 billion offer.

The terms of Comcast's upcoming new offer could not be learned.

The skirmish for control of Sky is being fought in the shadow of an even bigger battle - a struggle for control of prized entertainment assets owned by Fox, including its stake in Sky.

"We have long recognised the unique position that Sky occupies", said Gilbert.

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Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky, said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal.

"Disney's internal forecasts now, on the basis of the cash flows they've published for Sky, would value it at 16 pounds", he said.

Only this time, it's not Comcast standing in the Mouse House's way, but a shareholder named Robert Weiss, who recently filed a lawsuit to stop the historic Disney-Fox merger.

One hedge fund manager with a stake in Sky welcomed that pledge as a sign that Disney backed Fox in the battle. Analysts said it was not a knock-out, and Fox did not say it was its final offer.

Of course, there's still time for Comcast to make yet another counteroffer, forcing Disney to increase its bid once more.

Murdoch had previously tried to buy Sky in 2011 when a phone hacking scandal at his News of the World tabloid sparked a political backlash over his role in Britain.

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