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U.S. cable giant Comcast in multi-billion euro bid for Sky

U.S. cable giant Comcast in multi-billion euro bid for Sky

"We would like to own the whole of Sky and we will be looking to acquire over 50 per cent of the Sky shares", Comcast CEO Roberts said.

He pounced Tuesday as Comcast said it would offer Sky shareholders $31 billion for the satellite TV company.

In December a year ago, while the regulator was examining the proposed Fox-Sky merger, Walt Disney stepped in with an offer to buy much of Fox, including its existing stake in Sky.

Comcast said it was prepared to pay £12.50 per share to buy the UK-based company, valuing Sky at £22 billion.

Considering that Fox's takeover of Sky has been challenged by the Competition and Markets Authority under concerns of media plurality - the Murdoch family already owns a massive proportion of news outlets in the United Kingdom - a competitor's bid from Comcast might actually be well-received.

Comcast has also promised to maintain Sky News, one of the underlying issues that has stalled the 21st Century Fox bid.

"Sky and Comcast are a flawless fit: we are both leaders in creating and distributing content", Comcast Chief Executive Officer Roberts, 58, said.

'Adding Sky to the Comcast family of businesses will increase our global revenues from 9% to 25% of company revenues'.

Comcast is a U.S. multinational media and telecommunications giant.

He said: "Comcast seems unlikely to face the same level of regulatory headaches as Fox, which is still awaiting approval on the deal more than a year since it was first agreed".

Fox announced its latest bid for Sky in December 2016.

Persimmon was forced to scale back its management bonus plan this week after widespread criticism that it could have netted bosses more than 200 million pounds from share options.




Comcast already has NBC Universal film and TV assets, however, the deal "would give it a very powerful distribution pan-European network".

Comcast's slim United Kingdom operations mean the bid should raise few competition concerns.

News of the Comcast proposal on Tuesday rattled the stocks of Comcast, 21st Century Fox, and the Walt Disney Co.as investors now expect a bidding war to break out for Sky. The regulator had suggested spinning off Sky News and insulating it from Murdoch's influence might be one potential remedy.

The Murdoch Family Trust - the vehicle through which Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox's executive chairman, owns shares in that business - is a major shareholder in News Corp, which owns major British newspapers The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.

Comcast said it had only a minimal presence in the British media market and did not see any plurality concerns over its proposal.

Fox didn't immediately comment on the Comcast offer.

Why does Comcast want to buy Sky?

Sky's headquarters in London are shown.

"Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for growth in Europe".

"While Comcast does own a substantial global operation in the United Kingdom, with more than 1,300 employees, the Company has only a minimal presence in the United Kingdom media market", Comcast said in its bid document.

Then he said he talked to a Sky salesperson at a Westfield mall in London, and came away impressed with Sky's offerings.

Murdoch has moved to allay these, saying he'll keep Sky News going for at least another ten years (is this Disney's view?) although this offer is rather vague on the detail. They said not only would the higher bid be attractive, but the "lower regulatory risk" would also be appealing.

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