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Comcast makes formal £22 billion bid for Sky

Sky's Independent Committee "withdraws its recommendation" of offer from 21st Century Fox

Comcast has made its much talked about bid for Sky official, tabling a £22 billion offer for the company.

It says it intends to give binding undertakings to maintain safeguards for the protection of Sky News’ editorial independence for 10 years.

In addition, Comcast said it would protect media plurality in the UK by giving a binding post-offer undertaking not to acquire any majority interest in any British newspapers for five years.

Brian L Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said: “We are delighted to be formalising our offer for Sky today. We have long believed Sky is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast. Sky has a strong business, excellent customer loyalty, and a valued brand. It is led by a terrific management team who we look forward to working with to build and grow this business.”

21st Century Fox, which is also bidding to take full control of Sky, said in a statement: “21CF remains committed to its recommended cash offer for Sky and is currently considering its options. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

Meanwhile, in its own statement, Sky said: “The Independent Committee of Sky is withdrawing its recommendation of the offer announced by 21CF on (“21CF Offer”) and is now terminating the Co-operation Agreement entered into with 21CF on the same date.”

“Accordingly, certain provisions of the Co-operation Agreement will cease to apply including the obligation on 21CF to pay a break fee of £200 million.”

The statement concludes: “The Independent Committee intends to co-operate fully with both parties to secure the relevant approvals in order to satisfy the pre-conditions for both offers. Until the relevant pre-conditions are satisfied, Sky shareholders are advised to take no action.”