Comcast Outbids Fox For Sky
Today, the UK Takeover Panel held a rare blind auction, where Fox and Comcast each had to place their bids for Sky, which Fox owns 39% of. Disney are set to take control of the 39% state of Sky, when the purchase of 21st Century Fox is finalised. With Disney planning on trying to take over full control of Sky as well, though earlier this year, Comcast withdrew its bid for 21st Century Fox, to focus its efforts on purchasing Sky.
Comcast’s bid equated to £17.28 per share, beating Fox’s of £15.67 per share. With the bid being 10% higher than Fox’s, this means Fox is less lightly to contest the purchase.
It’s good news for Sky shareholders, who have seen the price of their stock almost double in the past year and it sets Sky up for a more certain future, since the company has been in limbo for almost 2 years.
Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive of Comcast, said: “Sky is a wonderful company with a great platform, tremendous brand, and accomplished management team.
“This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally.
“We now encourage Sky shareholders to accept our offer, which we look forward to completing before the end of October 2018.”
In a statement Sky plc said: “As the price of the final Comcast Offer is materially superior, it is in the best interests of all Sky shareholders to accept the Comcast offer.
Disney’s chairman Bob Iger, previously called Sky a “crown jewel” among Fox’s assets.
My Take: With Comcast winning the auction, its going to be interesting to see what Disney does, since Fox’s share is worth £12 billion and selling the shares, would recoup some of the cost of buying Fox and allow them freedom to use that money elsewhere (such as buying the 30% share of Hulu), or even trade Sky for Hulu, or will they just remain a minority shareholder of Sky.
The other big issue is how this might ultimately effect Sky programming in the long run as Sky carries all of the Fox/FX channels and shows, plus ABC and Disney content. As with everything related to this purchase, existing deals are still issue, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Disney eventually moving all its Fox/Disney content away from Sky to its own upcoming streaming platform. But it also gives Sky access to Comcast’s content, such as NBC and Universal.
What do you think of Comcast outbidding Fox for Sky?