21st Century Fox to Sell its Remaining Stake in Sky plc to Comcast®

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21st Century Fox recently said that it would sell its remaining stake in Sky plc to the Philadelphia-based telecommunications company Comcast®. The announcement has come only a few days after Comcast® emerged as the winning bidder in an auction for the British satellite TV broadcaster, getting the majority ownership of it. It was just recently that the Takeover Panel of Britain announced that the cable and fastest internet provider defeated 21st Century Fox in an auction where both parties bid intensely for the broadcaster.

With Comcast® having been offered reportedly $40 billion for majority interest or stake in Sky plc, Walt Disney agreed to Fox tendering its remaining stake in the broadcaster to the cable cum best internet provider, which owns CNBC. At the present exchange rates, £17.28 offer converts into $22.75 a share, which then values the deal for Fox’s remaining stake in Sky at more than $15 billion.

Walt Disney said, “The transaction, coupled with the divestiture of the Fox Sports Regional Networks, will significantly reduce the amount of debt Disney will incur in acquiring 21st Century Fox, and enable Disney to maintain its strong balance sheet as it continues to invest in content creation for its direct-to-consumer platforms.”

Walt Disney recently acquired the assets of 21st Century Fox, so if Disney prevailed at the auction it could have achieved control over the satellite broadcaster.

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The proceeds from 21st Century Fox’s stake in Sky plc will go to Walt Disney, helping to ease the cost of its Fox acquisition that reportedly valued at $71.3 billion. The assets of Fox comprise film and TV studios, many cable stations, Star India, and a stake in Hulu streaming service. Meanwhile, the Philly-based Telco giant plans to allow the British broadcaster to operate on its own as of now.

“With 21CF announcing its intention to sell its shares to Comcast® we close one chapter while simultaneously opening another,” Jeremy Darroch, the CEO of Sky plc, said. “Our aim is to make the next 30 years as exciting for customers, colleagues and all our stakeholders.”

Sky plc has suggested to the company shareholders that they immediately accept the billion-dollar takeover proposal of Comcast®. However, the deal will not be confirmed until the broadcaster’s shareholders accept it formally.

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