Daily Management Review

Fox to sell its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast for $ 15 billion


Rupert Murdoch media magnate’s company 21st Century Fox agreed to sell its 39% stake in the British television operator Sky Plc to American Comcast.

Ben Sutherland
Ben Sutherland
Thus, Comcast, which won an auction for the right to purchase a controlling stake in Sky in the last weekend, has become closer to obtaining full control over this company.

As reported, Comcast won the Saturday auction, offering for Sky 30 billion pounds (almost $ 39 billion), or 17.28 pounds per share. This price is more than 40% higher than the original application filed by Comcast in February, in which Sky was valued at 12.5 pounds per share.

The first offer of Fox itself estimated Sky at 10.75 pounds per share, and during a recent auction the company stopped at a price of 15.67 pounds per share.

On Wednesday, Fox said it had decided to accept Comcast's offer to sell its Sky shares. The cost of its package at the price of the auction at 17.28 pounds per security is more than $ 15 billion.

"Given the premium Comcast has agreed to pay for Sky, we and Walt Disney Co. have decided to sell our 39% stake to the company," Fox said.

In order for Fox to sell the Sky stake, it needed Disney's consent, since the 39% stake in the British operator is part of the deal between the two companies. In July of this year, Disney shareholders approved acquisition of Fox's entertainment assets, including its stake in Sky, for $ 71 billion.

At the moment, Comcast owns about 36.95% of Sky shares. Other Sky shareholders have an opportunity to apply for Comcast securities at auction prices until October 11 of this year.

Sky, founded by Murdoch in 1989, is the leading pay-TV operator in Austria, Britain, Germany, Ireland and Italy with approximately 23 million subscribers.

Comcast, the largest cable operator in the US and the owner of the studios Universal Pictures and NBC Universal, considers the purchase of the European television network a good opportunity to strengthen its position against new competitors such as Netflix.
Shares of Sky on the basis of trading in London on Wednesday went up by 0.3%, to 17.305 pounds.

source: bloomberg.com