Comcast formally announced that it was making a cash offer for Sky plc that is higher than 21 Century Fox’s bid for the satellite company.
AT 12.50 British pounds per share, Comcast’s offer worth $31 billion, a 16% premium above Fox’s offer.
Fox’s current stake in Sky, plus the remainder of Sky, is Fox manages to acquire is, would be among the assets Fox has agreed to sell to The Walt Disney Co. Disney has also said it would be willing to buy Sky.
Comcast had also tried to acquire those assets from Fox and was willing to pay more than Disney has agreed to pay.
“We are delighted to be formalizing our offer for Sky today. We have long believed Sky is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast,” said Brian Roberts, CEO of 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.”
Roberts said Sky would be Comcast’s platform for growth across Europe.
“The combined customer base of approximately 52 million will allow us to invest more in original and acquired programming and more in innovation as we strive to deliver a truly differentiated customer experience. We look forward to receiving the necessary regulatory approvals,” he said.
As part of its bid, Comcast said It would:
• Maintain annual expenditure in Sky News for ten years, at a level not less than incurred in Sky’s 2017 financial year;
• Establish an editorial Sky News board with the responsibility to ensure the editorial independence of Sky News for ten years;
• Maintain Sky’s UK headquarters in Osterley for five years; and
• Not acquire any majority interest in UK newspapers for five years.
Earlier, Comcast said it would:
• Continue to support the creative industries in the UK and increase investment in UK film and TV production;
• Support innovation in the UK by continuing to support Sky’s technology hub in Leeds;
• Continue to support young people in the UK by maintaining Sky’s Software Engineering Academy scheme; and
• Continue to support Sky’s local community sports programs in the UK.