Fox raises Sky offer to $32 billion in battle with Comcast

Comcast

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has kicked off a potential bidding war with U.S. entertainment giant Comcast after making a new offer for the 59pc of Sky it does not already own that values the UK-based broadcaster at £24.5bn.

In a statement Comcast, a $155 billion USA cable television giant, said that its latest offer represented a premium of approximately 5.4 per cent to the 21st Century Fox offer, "implying a value of approximately..."

Fox has been attempting to purchase Sky since December 2016, and has increased its offer by more than 30 percent since then, according to the AP.

While 21st Century Fox shareholders are poised to meet on July 27 to discuss the Walt Disney Co.

21st Century Fox has increased its bid to acquire the 61% of the hotly-contested Sky that it does not now own.

Disney's proposed deal to acquire the 21st Century Fox assets has hit a substantial speed bump this week, as one of the Fox shareholders has filed a lawsuit in regards to the merger. His new offer made on Wednesday, at £14.00 a share, once again won over Sky's independent directors who recommended the new £24.5bn deal.

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Fox unveiled its new bid Wednesday morning London time just as Comcast is preparing to formalize its own $31 billion offer for Sky, probably to be sent to Sky shareholders later this week.

The skirmish for control of Sky is being fought in the shadow of an even bigger battle - a struggle for control of prized entertainment assets owned by Fox, including its stake in Sky. The complaint alleges that Fox's prospectus filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission after the company accepted Disney's offer was incomplete. This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world, but none of whom have demonstrated the same local depth of investment and commitment to the United Kingdom and to Europe.

However, completion of the Sky acquisition is not a condition to completion of the Disney deal, nor will it affect the amount or form of consideration that stockholders of 21CF receive in the Disney transaction, Fox said.

Following the announcement, Sky's share price was down 1.3 per cent at 14.81, though above the improved offer.

However, British regulators have indicated that if Disney succeeds in buying Fox, including the 39 percent stake in Sky, it would be required to offer the same price for the remainder of Sky. Analysts said it was not a knock-out, and Fox did not say it was its final offer.

Murdoch had previously tried to buy Sky in 2011 when a phone hacking scandal at his News of the World tabloid sparked a political backlash over his role in Britain.

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