Comcast, one of said competitors, has now emerged as the front-runner in what has become a bidding war for the company - and Sky shareholders are being urged to accept its offer of £17.28 per share, up on Fox's £15.67 per share, in a deal valued at nearly £30 billion.
Crossing the 30 percent threshold means that the US cable company must offer to buy out other investors at the formal offer price of 17.28 pounds per share, valuing Sky at around 30.6 billion pounds ($40.2 billion). One key Sky shareholder is 21st Century Fox, which owns 39 percent of Sky and is in the process of selling itself to Walt Disney Co.
"Sky is a wonderful company with a great platform, tremendous brand, and accomplished management team", said Comcast chairman and chief executive Brian L. Roberts. This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally. This morning's jump in share price saw Sky stock get nearer to Comcast's valuation, at 1,722p per share. We couldn't be more excited by the opportunities in front of us. Sky's board recommended accepting the offer. Rival Fox offered £15.67 per share.
Neither Fox nor Disney have said what they intend to do with the stake.
FBN's Charlie Gasparino discusses the Comcast-Fox bidding battle for Sky. It is also likely to wrap up sometime over the weekend or early Monday morning and could therefore be outside of normal business hours'. In addition to being a leader for pay-TV in the United Kingdom, as well as other regional markets including Germany and Italy, the company also sells broadband and mobile phone services.