Comcast bids for Sky Broadcasting, improving on the offer from Fox

Comcast bids for Sky Broadcasting, improving on the offer from Fox

Sky shares rose 3.9 percent to 13.59 pounds as investors bet Fox would sweeten its bid, and Sky withdrew its recommendation that shareholders accept the Fox offer.

Hopes that Comcast, the biggest United States cable firm and owner of NBC and Universal Pictures, will spark a bidding war sent Sky shares rocketing up over 3%.

Investors, who think the bidding war will continue, sent Sky's stock much higher than Comcast's new offer.

Fox has to at least match Comcast's offer, but analysts estimate a final winning bid could go as high as 14 to 15 pounds per share, the report said.

"We also understand the role that Sky plays in United Kingdom society and in its customers' lives, and we are determined to be responsible and trusted owners of Sky", Roberts said in a statement.

Tulchan's Andrew Grant and Tom Murray are working the Comcast bid.

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"With its 23 million retail customers, leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany, and its history of strong financial performance, we see significant opportunities for growth by combining our businesses", he added.

Fox, which already has a 39 percent stake in Sky, first announced its 10.75 pound per share cash offer in December 2016. Sky is a highly complementary business and will expand Comcast's worldwide footprint in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. "Comcast is gaming out the possibility of making a public case to the company's shareholders that they should reject the Disney deal, which is expected to come to a vote this summer, and opt for a Comcast tie-up instead, people familiar with the situation say".

Comcast announced its intention to launch a bid in February, gatecrashing 21st Century Fox's longstanding deal to secure the 61 per cent of Sky that it does not already own.

The Fox offer had faced hurdles a year ago when the UK's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport issued a European intervention notice, which asked United Kingdom media regulator Ofcom to report on two public interest considerations around the merger plans. 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. That deal awaits approval of US regulators.

The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in New York, New York, U.S. on July 1, 2015.

"The independent committee also welcomes the post-offer undertakings and commitments Comcast intends to give in relation to Sky's existing business including Sky News, and believes that these voluntary commitments should comprehensively address any potential public interest concerns".

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