Comcast Ups The Ante In Sky-High Bidding War

  • Comcast Ups The Ante In Sky-High Bidding War

Comcast Ups The Ante In Sky-High Bidding War

Fox, which owns 39percent of Sky and is due to gain British regulatory clearance for the deal this week, upped its offer to £14 per share, from its earlier £10.75 per share. Comcast is now also working on a counter proposal to top Disney's deal with Fox. Iger sees an opportunity to expand Disney's direct to consumer offerings and worldwide presence and make Disney a global entertainment company with the United Kingdom pay-TV operator's 23 million customers. Fox's offer valued Sky at $32.5 billion, which was 18% above Comcast's previous bid.

Sky has been thrust into the centre of a global tussle between media giants Disney and Comcast as they lead a fightback against the might of Amazon and Netflix. Currently, the bid by Comcast stands at £26bn.

As part of the global standoff, Disney and Comcast are both vying to acquire the entertainment assets of Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Inc.

Comcast expects to pay its advisers between 203 million pounds and 243 million pounds in total for their work on the Sky bid, the US group estimated in its formal offer document for the British company on Friday.

Some analysts believe escalating bids could end up valuing Sky at more than £30 billion. Its bid would let it acquire the remaining 61 per cent of the company, and that business would eventually go to Disney - assuming that transaction also is completed.

Comcast said it has committed financing available to satisfy the full cash consideration payable to Sky shareholders. Fox is yet to publish its offer document. Yes, we are talking again about the proposed acquisition of Fox by Disney.

John Schnatter
Papa John’s founder and chief executive John Schnatter

Long-term goals: Delrahim wants to unwind the AT&T deal and that stance could keep Comcast from counterbidding for Fox.

Fries said he the US Department of Justice's decision to appeal against the court ruling in favour of AT&T's merger with Time Warner "was a big surprise".

But it is below US giant Comcast's CMCSA.O competing 14.75 pounds per share offer for Sky, which has put a 25.9 billion price tag on the business. According to some shareholders, that has set an implied higher floor for Sky's shares.

British regulators have indicated that if Disney succeeds in buying Fox, including the 39 percent stake in Sky, it would be required to offer the same price for the remainder of Sky.

The Britain government on Thursday cleared media mogul Rupert Murdoch's move to buy Sky News, removing the final regulatory obstacle to a head-to-head battle between his 21 Century Fox and U.S. rival Comcast for the European pay-TV. In announcing the agreement to buy Fox assets in December, Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger called Sky a "crown jewel " of the deal.

The higher offer now puts the wood on Sky's independent directors to switch their recommendation to Comcast after backing the higher Fox offer.