Comcast Outbids Fox In The Battle For Sky

Comcast has won the auction for Sky, offering £17.28 per Sky ordinary share versus Fox’s £15.67.

The two companies took part in three rounds of an auction which was overseen by the UK Takeover Panel throughout Saturday.

Both offers will now be put to shareholders, who have until 11th October to vote on them.

Should Sky shareholders accept Comcast's bid, it would end almost three decades of control of Sky by the Murdoch family.

Speaking about the auction process, analyst Paolo Pescatore said a knockout bid was the only way to settle the battle which has raged through most of the summer.

“This is unsurprising given the value that Sky will bring to the company in the future," he added.

“There are significant growth opportunities in Europe. The combined entity will be a considerable force. Expect to see other American (including the losing party) and Asian providers to make similar moves for other European content and media assets.”

“Sky and its customers will now benefit from being part of the wider group; access to more services, products and features. And financial security to some extent to bid for key costly premium content rights; in particular sports which is arguably the company’s prized asset with the Premier League," said Pescatore.

And Sky appears eager to make the merger happen.

Sky has recommended its shareholders accept Comcast's offer of £17.28 per share "immediately".

In a letter to shareholders, the broadcaster said: "As the price of the Comcast Offer is materially superior, it is in the best interests of all Sky shareholders to accept the Comcast Offer."

"Accordingly, the Independent Committee unanimously recommends that Sky shareholders accept the Comcast Offer, and in order to ensure the successful closing of the Comcast Offer, and given the possibility of a delisting of Sky in the near future, urges shareholders to accept immediately.

"Sky's board and shareholders have to decide whether to accept the offer by October 11.

Comcast must secure 50 percent acceptance for the deal to go through.

Meanwhile, Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts has told the FT that he wants to maintain Sky's independence: "The consistent theme at Comcast has been letting leaders of our businesses make their own decisions, being decentralised and keeping an entrepreneurial spirit,” he said.

"We’ve said this to Jeremy [Darroch, Sky's chief executive] and the rest of the Sky team…They will be able to act as an independent company but with the resources of a $150 billion company behind them.”

Jenny Priestley

Jenny has worked in the media throughout her career, joining TVBEurope as editor in 2017. She has also been an entertainment reporter, interviewing everyone from Kylie Minogue to Tom Hanks; as well as spending a number of years working in radio. She continues to appear on radio every week and occasionally pops up on TV.