A bidding war for UK-based Sky could be on the cards, following the announcement by US cable TV giant Comcast that it has made an offer to acquire the operator for GBP22 billion (USD30.7 billion). In offering GBP12.5 per Sky share, Comcast noted that this represented a premium of approximately 16% against the offer of GBP10.75 submitted by 21st Century Fox (21CF) in December 2016.
Commenting on the acquisition bid, Brian L Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast, said: ‘We are delighted to be formalising our offer for Sky today. We have long believed Sky is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast … With its 23 million retail customers, leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany, and its history of strong financial performance, we see significant opportunities for growth by combining our businesses. Sky is a highly complementary business and will expand Comcast’s international footprint in the UK and Continental Europe.’
Meanwhile, following confirmation of the higher cash offer, the Independent Committee of Sky has announced it is withdrawing its recommendation for the bid made by 21CF and has terminated the Co-operation Agreement entered into with that company. Further, the Committee noted that both offers are subject to pre-conditions, with neither offer currently capable of being put to shareholders, and going forward it intends to ‘cooperate fully with both parties to secure the relevant approvals in order to satisfy the pre-conditions for both offers’.