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Sky urges shareholders to accept Comcast offer

Sky has advised its shareholders to accept Comcast’s $39bn takeover days after the US telecom giant’s knockout bid for the business.

In a statement released on Monday (24 September), Sky said: “As the price of the Comcast Offer is materially superior, it is in the best interests of all Sky shareholders to accept the Comcast Offer.

“Accordingly, the Independent Committee unanimously recommends that Sky shareholders accept the Comcast Offer, and in order to ensure the successful closing of the Comcast Offer, and given the possibility of a delisting of Sky in the near future, urges shareholders to accept immediately.”

Comcast emerged as the victor following an unusual three-round auction overseen by the UK’s Takeover Panel on Saturday (22 September), offering £17.28 per share and besting 21st Century Fox’s £15.67 per share offer.

Shares in Sky were up 8.7% to £17.23 in early London trading on Monday.

Following the auction – a rare occurrence that was called because neither bidder had declared their offers to be final – Fox said it is “considering its options” regarding its own 39% shareholding in Sky and will make further announcements in due course.

“Sky is a remarkable story and we are proud to have played such a significant role in building the incredible value reflected today in Comcast’s offer,” said the business.

Sky’s board and shareholders now have until 11 October to accept the offer.

Comcast requires at least 50% acceptance for the deal to go through. It needs 84% acceptance of the board.

The result came after a two-year battle for Sky, which first began in December 2016 when Fox made a £10.75 per share offer for the 61% of Sky it did not already own.

Comcast entered the fray in February 2018, and has topped each of Fox’s offers, upping the price for Sky by at least $8bn. Its triumph – which sees the US giant gaining 26m European customers – marks the end for Sky as an independent company.