Britain clears Rupert Murdoch's Fox to bid for Sky

Britain clears Rupert Murdoch's Fox to bid for Sky

Britain clears Rupert Murdoch's Fox to bid for Sky

The new bid values Sky at $32.5 billion.

After a bidding war with Comcast, Disney seemed to cement it win when the company raised its offer to a whopping $71.3 billion. Topping Comcast's 12.50 pounds a share.

The battle takes place in the context of a broader struggle between Comcast and its rival Disney, which are both attempting to buy the bulk of Fox's assets, including its Sky stake. Britain's former Culture Minister Matt Hancock, who was replaced Monday night with Jeremy Wright in a cabinet shakeup, had said he was willing to let the takeover go ahead, provided Fox sold Sky's 24-hour news channel to Disney.

The contrast between Comcast's rapid reaction to Fox's improved offer on Wednesday for European pay-TV leader Sky-a counterbid the same day-and the cable giant's slow response to Disney's improved offer for the Fox assets for sale is striking.

Sky's shares were trading 3% higher as investors were betting on a higher bid from Fox to see off Comcast's competition.

Present in 23 million homes across Europe, Sky is a prized asset, with a slate of top sport and original drama content.

Now it's up to Comcast (cmcsa) to decide how much Sky is worth. Sky's shares closed at £15.01 on Tuesday, suggesting shareholders think the battle is not over.

Hedge funds including Elliott have bought into Sky in recent months and other vocal shareholders such as Crispin Odey have demanded that the independent directors secure a better deal.

Sky is at the centre of a transatlantic takeover tussle between Mr Murdoch's Fox and Comcast, which owns NBC, Universal film studios and E!.

One hedge fund manager with a stake in Sky welcomed that pledge as a sign that Disney backed Fox in the battle.

Reuters is reporting that Comcast is doing it now so that Fox shareholders won't have antitrust concerns, plus increase their chances for uprooting Disney's bid.

The UK government has already said it's likely to approve Fox's bid for Sky after Fox satisfied concerns over media plurality.

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