Sky says received takeover bid from 21st Century Fox

Fox already owns 39 per cent of Sky.
Fox already owns 39 per cent of Sky.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

LONDON (AFP) - Sky has received a takeover approach from 21st Century Fox, it said on Friday (Dec 9), as media mogul Rupert Murdoch made a second tilt at the European pay-TV broadcaster.

The London-listed firm said in a statement it had agreed on an informal offer of £10.75 per share from the Murdoch-controlled US media-entertainment giant, which is seeking to take full control.

The deal values it at £18.5 billion (S$26 billion), but Sky stressed there was no certainty that a firm offer would be made.

Nasdaq-listed 21st Century Fox already owns a 39.1 per cent stake in Sky, whose main five markets are Austria, Britain, Germany, Ireland and Italy.

“The independent directors of Sky plc note today’s share price increase, and announce that Sky has received an approach from 21st Century Fox, Inc,” Sky said in the statement.

“After a period of negotiation... Sky and 21st Century Fox have reached agreement on an offer price of £10.75 per share in cash, less the value of any dividends subsequently paid by Sky.

“However, certain material offer terms remain under discussion and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made by 21st Century Fox, nor as to the terms of any such offer.”

Sky added: “Discussions are continuing and a further announcement will be made in due course as appropriate.”

The price represents a premium of 40 per cent from Sky’s closing share price level on Tuesday, which was the day before the initial proposal was made.

The news, published in late afternoon deals, sent Sky’s share price soaring by a third before settling to close at exactly £10, up 26 per cent from Thursday’s close