Comcast has made a £22 billion bid to acquire Sky in an attempt to beat out 21st Century Fox, which is currently trying to buy the 61 per cent of the company it does not already own.
Comcast, the owner of NBCUniversal, said the bid of £12.50 per share was 16 per cent higher than the 21st Century Fox offer.
The company’s chief executive Brian Roberts, said: “We would like to own the whole of Sky and we will be looking to acquire over 50 per cent of the Sky shares.
“Sky has been a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver a fantastic viewing experience and has a proud record of investment in news and programming. It has great people and a very strong and capable management team.”
“Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for growth in Europe,” said Roberts. “We already have a strong presence in London through our NBCUniversal international operations, and we intend to maintain Sky’s UK headquarters. Adding Sky to the Comcast family of businesses will increase our international revenues from nine per cent to 25 per cent of company revenues.”
21st Century Fox has been struggling to get approval of its proposed takeover of Sky, with the Competition and Markets Authority raising concerns that if the deal went through, the Murdoch Family Trust would have too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda.
The Independent Committee of Sky has since released a statement, which said: “The Independent Committee of Sky notes today’s announcement from Comcast regarding a possible all cash offer for Sky at per share (the “Possible Offer”).”
“The Independent Directors of Sky are mindful of their fiduciary duties and their obligations under the UK Takeover Code.
Since no firm offer has been made at this point, shareholders are advised to take no action. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”