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21st Century Fox agrees Sky takeover

£18.5 billion deal expected to be completed before the end of 2017

Sky has agreed to a takeover by 21st Century Fox.

The international film and television giant is expected to complete the deal – reportedly valued at £18.5 billion – before the end of 2017.

It currently owns 39.1 per cent of Sky, and has been linked with a takeover bid for some time.

In a stock exchange statement, 21st Century Fox said, “The strategic rationale for this combination is clear. It creates a global leader in content creation and distribution, enhances our sports and entertainment scale, and gives us unique and leading direct-to-consumer capabilities and technologies.

“It adds the strength of the Sky brand to our portfolio, including the Fox, National Geographic and Star brands.

“Sky is a creative, commercial, and consumer powerhouse delivering its own content to customers across all platforms.

21st Century Fox intends to keep Sky’s headquarters in London and to complete a £1 billion investment in the campus.

The statement continued, “Sky is the number one Pay-TV brand in all its key markets, with an exciting growth runway in each.

“The enhanced capabilities of the combined company will be underpinned by a more geographically diverse and stable revenue base.

“It will also create an improved balance between subscription, affiliate fee, advertising and content revenues. This combination creates an agile organisation that is equipped to better succeed in a global market.”