Murdoch's Fox ups Sky bid to $32.5 billion, all eyes on Comcast

Andrew Cummings
July 12, 2018

United States media giant Comcast has raised its offer to buy Sky to £14.75 per share - just hours after 21st Century Fox increased its own offer to £14.

Fox offered £14 per share to value Sky at £24.5 billion ($32 billion), 12% more than Comcast's rival £22 billion offer.

Both Comcast (CCZ)and Fox see value in Sky as the media companies compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in Europe. Wright's predecessor had previously indicated the deal could go through if Sky was ultimately sold to a third party, like Disney.


Fox has increased its bid by just over 30% since its first offer in December 2016.

Should Disney succeed, it will obtain Fox's 39 per cent stake in Sky as part of the package.

Shares in Sky Plc were down 0.8 percent at 14.90 pounds, suggesting investors believe Comcast could come back with another improved offer.


A Fox shareholder has filed a lawsuit over Disney's pending acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox's assets, alleging that shareholders have been given misleading or incomplete information before their vote on July 27, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sky's shares closed at 15.01 pounds on Tuesday, implying shareholders think the battle is not yet over.

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.

Fox said Disney had given its consent to the additional debt Fox would take on and said that it would reimburse Fox by around 1 billion pounds if Fox succeeds in buying Sky at that price, but the Disney-Fox transaction falls through. Comcast is said to be ready to negotiate with the feds on the number of Fox RSN's it would have to divest as some of them may overlap with Comcast's NBC Sports regional networks.


Murdoch's company still faces significant regulatory battles in Britain, including the culture secretary's statement that Fox would have to divest itself of Sky News to win government approval because of concerns about media plurality. The opposition has not completely subsided despite the plan to spin off Sky News.

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