July 11, 2018
The “Sky” is apparently the limit for 21st Century Fox, which on July 11 upped its offer more than 30% for the British satellite TV operator to £14 per share — valuing the company at $32.5 billion. Fox, in late 2016, offered £10.75 per share of Sky stock (61%) it did not already own.
The bid represents an 82% premium on Sky’s £7.69 per share closing price the day before Fox’s initial bid. It also tops Comcast’s rival offer of £12.50 per share.
“As a founding member of Sky, we have remained deeply committed to bringing these two organizations together to create a world-class business positioned to deliver the very best entertainment experiences well into the future,” Fox said in a statement.
It’s a sentiment shared by The Walt Disney Co. and Comcast, which both have competing takeover bids for select Fox assets, including 2oth Century Fox Film and Sky.
Consolidation in the media world is in full swing following AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner as companies grapple with over-the-top video and subscription streaming video behemoths Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Disney last month upped its offer for Fox to $71.3 billion after Comcast bid $65 billion — topping Disney’s initial $52.4 billion acquisition amount.
Federal regulators last month approved Disney’s bid after the Mickey Mouse company agreed to divest 22 regional Fox Sports networks. Across the pond, the U.K. Secretary of State is expected rule on the Fox/Sky deal by July 12.
Regardless, Sky shares closed July 10 at £15.01 per share suggesting the sky is indeed the limit for shareholders convinced the bidding war will continue.