Reports: Fox in bid to acquire remaining share of Sky

In what could be one of the defining broadcast media business stories of this year, reports this evening (9 December) indicate that US media giant 21st Century Fox has made a takeover approach for the remainder of Sky that values the UK-based satellite broadcaster at £18.5bn.

The proposed offer is worth £10.75 a share in cash, and if the deal goes ahead it would see Fox acquire the 61% of Sky that it does not already own.

In an official statement, Sky confirmed: “The Independent Directors of Sky plc note today’s share price increase, and announce that Sky has received an approach from 21st Century Fox, Inc. After a period of negotiation, the Independent Directors of Sky and 21st Century Fox have reached agreement on an offer price of £10.75 per share in cash, less the value of any dividends subsequently paid by Sky. However, certain material offer terms remain under discussion and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made by 21st Century Fox, nor as to the terms of any such offer.

“The Independent Directors, who have received financial advice from Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners and Barclays, have indicated to 21st Century Fox that they are willing to recommend the Proposal to Sky shareholders, subject to reaching agreement on the other terms. In providing advice to the Independent Directors, Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners and Barclays have taken into account the commercial assessments of the Independent Directors.

“The Proposal represents a premium of 40% to the closing price on 6th December, being the last business day prior to the initial proposal being received from 21st Century Fox, and a premium of 36% to the closing price on 8th December, being the last business day prior to this announcement.”

Sky has formed an independent committee of the Board to consider the terms of the Proposal. Discussions are said to be continuing with a further announcement to be made in due course as appropriate.

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