Sky's the limit: Comcast raises bid to $34bn

Sky's the limit: Comcast raises bid to $34bn

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has bid £14 a share for the British pay-TV broadcaster Sky.

Jeff Wlodarczak at Pivotal Research Group said Comcast may succeed in winning Sky but lose out on Fox to Disney.

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.

An offer of £24.5 billion tabled by 21st Century Fox yesterday to take control of Sky was trumped late last night by a counterbid from the rival Comcast in a further escalation of the takeover battle for the European pay-TV group. He said if Comcast wins, shareholders continue to tender their shares and if Fox wins, a shareholder vote occurs on day 60. Take a look at Sky today.

Reuters is reporting that Comcast is doing it now so that Fox shareholders won't have antitrust concerns, plus increase their chances for uprooting Disney's bid.

A potential resolution to the takeover battles for 21st Century Fox and Sky seemed to emerge Wednesday, but investors can expect more twists before this drama ends.


Under its plans to appease Government concerns, Fox has pledged to offload Sky News to Walt Disney, which is separately bidding to buy a major chunk of Fox assets - including the Sky stake.

Murdoch's Fox said the performance of Sky since December 2016, including its renewal of the right to show English Premier League matches at a lower price than expected, justified its higher offer.

The companies want Sky in order to amass programming and better compete with technology companies like Amazon and Netflix for viewers.

"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.

Regulators are concerned that Fox's ownership of Sky News would give Murdoch and his family too much influence over United Kingdom media.

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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