SUN VALLEY, Idaho – Comcast has moved quickly on Wednesday to contradict 21st Century Fox's recent bid for Sky. The same day that Fox tops its buyout for the European satellite TV provider, its offer will increase to $ 34 billion.
Comcast said its higher bid by Sky's committee was recommended by independent directors to rate the vortex of bidding for the satcomaster. Earlier the same day, the same committee recommended Fox's higher bid, but reversed the course after receiving Comcast's higher bid.
Comcast's renewed focus on bidding for Sky has triggered speculation that the company is shifting its focus on winning the race to acquire Sky and retire from its duel with Disney for 21
With Comcast's quick action on Sky, the question now is whether Fox or Disney will return the fire with a sweetened bid for Sky. Under UK law, Sky shareholders now have 60 days to study Comcast's offer and decide whether to accept Comcast's offer. A 21st Century Fox representative declined to comment.
Sky's sales process has been accelerated earlier this week by the decision of the UK regulatory agency overseeing corporate takeovers. The Takeover Board ruled that Fox had to increase the value of its bid due to its "chain-of-principle" theory that Disney's offer to Fox is related to Sky. The fact that Disney increased its bid for all Fox assets last month means that the value of Fox's existing 39% Sky stake has increased. Therefore, Disney's bid of $ 71.3 billion for Fox meant it set a minimum fair market value for Sky shareholders.
"Comcast has admired Sky for a long time and believes it's a great company that fits in well with Comcast." Comcast said in announcing its new Sky bid. "Today's announcement underscores Comcast's belief and commitment to own Sky." [Sky59] Fox's offer on Wednesday valued Sky at $ 32.5 billion, or £ 14 a share, compared to Comcast's last offer of about $ 31 billion in April. The revised offer from Comcast rated Sky with 14.75 pounds per share. Comcast said it expects the takeover bid to be closed to Sky shareholders before the end of October.
Comcast's decision is said to have surprised Comcast, as it accelerated the tendering process for Sky. According to an informed source, Comcast had focused on collecting another bid for the larger group of 21st Century Fox assets. Disney signed a deal on December 14 for the purchase of 21st Century Fox for $ 52.4 billion. On June 13, Comcast made a $ 65 billion counteroffer to Fox. Disney responded on June 20 with its bid of $ 71.3 billion, which was endorsed by Fox's board.
Disney and Fox have set the votes of the shareholders for the takeover bid for July 27th. With that, Comcast has set a schedule bid for the larger collection of Fox assets. According to an informed source, Comcast had focused on the options for a higher cash offer for Disney until July 27, when the British regulatory decision forced them to shift their attention back to Sky, expecting Sky's board to move quickly As soon as UK regulators give the OK, Fox will continue its latest bid for Sky, a green light expected by the end of the week. Comcast has already been approved by regulators to take over Sky in whole or in part.
Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts observes the rapidly evolving developments of his appearance at the annual Allen & Co. Media and Technology Moguls Conference. The guest list includes Disney boss Bob Iger and 21st Century Fox chairman Murdoch. The drama surrounding Comcast and Disney's fight for Rupert Murdoch's empire was a hot topic of conversation at the rally. Roberts declined to comment on the bidding process for Sky and Fox.
According to industry sources, some of Roberts' lieutenants at Comcast have gradually reduced their zeal to compete with Disney for the Fox assets, especially if Comcast's strong shot at taking control of Sky. Sources say there is some concern that a cash bid to outperform Disney's latest offer for Fox could put Comcast in a difficult position with high debt and other concerns for investors and bondholders.
Sky is a valued part of the Fox empire of its subscribers in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Italy. Sky is considered an indispensable infrastructure for global direct-to-consumer streaming services developed by Disney and Comcast. Fox's international assets in general are a big part of Comcast's and Disney's appeal, both of which want to diversify internationally as media and entertainment companies become more global.