Rupert Murdoch to gain full control of Europe’s pay TV giant Sky though £11.2 billion deal
The agreement in principle would be at £10.75 per share for the outstanding shares not already owned by Murdoch’s film and broadcast company
The Rupert Murdoch owned broadcast and film company 21st Century Fox is about to buy up the outstanding shares of Europe’s largest pay TV platform Sky plc. You’ll hear Brits refer to the company as BSkyB, short for British Sky Broadcasting, the owner of which is Sky plc and the target of the acquisition.
Murdoch has long wanted this property, but the phone hacking scandal at his British tabloid slowed down his efforts. Now, with that behind him, and with friendly governments at his beck and call, he has once again made a deal to buy the outstanding shares.
Murdoch Sky bid raises big media plurality issues as when I blocked with competition reference 6 years ago. DCMS minister must act.
— Vince Cable (@vincecable) December 9, 2016
Murdoch’s son James is chairman at Sky, but an independent committee of the board will now look at the deal, and likely approve it. Whether any regulators object is the big question now.
Here is the announcement from 21st Century Fox:
New York, NY, NY – December 09, 2016 – Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. notes the announcement made today by Sky plc and confirms that it has reached an agreement in principle in relation to a possible offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares in Sky it does not already own at a price of £10.75 per share payable in cash less the value of any dividends subsequently paid by Sky. However, certain material offer terms remain under discussion and the Possible Offer may or may not lead to an offer being made by 21st Century Fox.
The Independent Directors of Sky have indicated to 21st Century Fox that they are willing to recommend the Possible Offer, subject to reaching agreement on the other terms and conditions of any offer.
In the past several years, 21st Century Fox has consistently stated that its existing 39.1% stake in Sky is not a natural end position. A proposed transaction between 21st Century Fox and Sky would bring together 21st Century Fox’s global content business with Sky’s world-class direct-to-consumer capabilities, which have made it the number one premium pay-TV provider in all its markets. It would also enhance Sky’s leading position in entertainment and sport, and reinforce the U.K.’s standing as a top global hub for content generation and technological innovation.
There can be no certainty that any offer or transaction will proceed.
In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, 21st Century Fox is required, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on January 06, 2017, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Sky in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline can be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.