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Disney must bid for Sky even if Murdoch offer fails, watchdog rules

13 April, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Melinda Barton
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In December, Disney said it planned to acquire a large part of Twenty First Century Fox, including the Twentieth Century Fox movie and televison studio, cable channels including regional sports networks and key global properties, including the stake in Sky, which were valued collectively at USD60.00 billion. Fox bid two years ago for the 61 per cent of Sky it does not control, following a failed earlier takeover attempt.

Disney must make an offer to buy Sky if its deal with 21st Century Fox is completed before Fox's takeover of Sky, which is still being reviewed by the United Kingdom competition watchdog. The deal for that is being reviewed by United Kingdom regulators, while Comcast has also said it was ready to make a competing offer for Sky.

Shares in Sky on Thursday were down 0.2% in London at 1,307.00 pence, or GBP13.07, each.

The Murdoch family, which controls Fox, wants to consolidate their hold on Sky as traditional media firms, faced with new competitors such as Netflix and Amazon, look to combine content creation and distribution channels. The Group said further advice to its shareholders will be announced in due course.

It added: "At this stage, Sky shareholders are advised to take no further action".

Earlier in April, Fox proposed two remedies to address plurality concerns voiced by United Kingdom mergers regulator the Competition & Markets Authority. Rice said the new company will probably just be called "Fox".

However, it ensures a guaranteed bidder for Sky in the event that British regulators don't sign off the Fox takeover.

"We think Sky is an outstanding company", said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in a statement at the time. The agreement was related to the disclosure of information for enabling Fox and Disney to assess and obtain antitrust approvals needed for the proposed acquisition of Fox by Disney including the indirect acquisition of Fox's interest in Sky.

The decision means Disney will have to own 100 per cent of Sky if its $52bn deal to buy a range of Fox's assets proceeds.



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