Magazine article Screen International

Comcast Beats Fox in Auction for $40Bn Sky

Magazine article Screen International

Comcast Beats Fox in Auction for $40Bn Sky

Article excerpt

Fox “considering its options” in merger endgame.

Comcast has beaten Disney-backed 21st Century Fox in the auction for Sky plc with a £17.28 ($22.57) a share offer that values the pan-European broadcaster at around £30.6bn ($40bn).

Disney/Fox’s final offer in the unusual three-round auction process held in London on Saturday (22) was £15.67 ($20.47) a share.

The Sky board unanimously recommended that Sky shareholders accept the Comcast offer and urged them to “accept immediately.” Fox, which owns 39% of Sky, said it was “considering its options” regarding the stake and “will make a further announcement in due course.”

The auction result is another turning point in the race among US media giants to expand their size and scope to better compete with tech companies and global streamers Netflix and Amazon.

Comcast had also been tussling with Disney to buy most of the film and TV assets of 21st Century Fox, but in July it bowed out of that contest, leaving Disney the winner with an offer for Fox of $71.3bn.

If Comcast - whose two primary businesses are the Comcast Cable internet and phone service provider and the NBCUniversal film and TV studio and network - seals its deal for Sky, it will immediately extend its global reach, with income from international operations projected to increase from 9% to 25% of total revenue.

Comcast will also gain considerable clout in the international programming arena through Sky’s direct-to-consumer operations in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Austria and Spain. …

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