Comcast Raises Bid For Sky To $34 Billion, Tops Fox's Offer

Comcast Raises Bid For Sky To $34 Billion, Tops Fox's Offer

Fox said Disney had given its consent to the additional debt Fox would take on and said that it would reimburse Fox by around 1 billion pounds if Fox succeeds in buying Sky at that price, but the Disney-Fox transaction falls through.

"If you're doing some game theory here, what Comcast should probably want to do if it believes that Disney is going to top any bid it makes for the Fox assets is to bid higher", Rogers said.

He said amended guarantees had been made over Sky News to address concerns over media plurality, as well as changes to the associated brand licensing agreement following responses to the Government's consultation. This would meet USA regulators' criteria to approve the deal. Disney's current bid for about half of Fox assets for $71.4 billion would also include Sky.

Its rival bidder, USA cable TV giant Comcast has also increased its offer to buy Sky to £14.75 per share, valuing the business at about £25.9bn. Fox and Disney are prohibited from engaging with Comcast but if Comcast presents an improved offer to the board of Fox, Murdoch is likely to abstain from a vote to decide whether to engage with Comcast to deliver a better offer. He also wants to build local language programming and sports content globally and distribute it over Fox's direct to consumer platforms like Sky and Hotstar.

"Fox coming back in for Sky isn't a surprise in itself, but the fact the offer is slightly behind what some had anticipated brings another twist", said George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

But the level at which Disney would be required to acquire the rest of Sky has recently been up in the air. He's appealing a decision to approve AT&T Inc.'s acquisition of Time Warner Inc. - a move that could bear relevance to Comcast. Fox acknowledged the increased bid. But the process may take months.

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Comcast (CMCSA.O), the world's biggest entertainment group, said on Wednesday it had the backing of Sky's independent directors for a 14.75 pounds-per-share offer that came just 16 hours after Murdoch's 21st Century Fox (FOXA.O) bid 14 pounds. The Comcast bid has already been cleared.

Long-term goals: The panel aims to treat all shareholders fairly in takeover scenarios.

The merry-go-round of potential media deals continued as Comcast offered to buy European pay-TV company Sky for $34 billion a day after Twenty-First Century Fox increased its offer for Sky.

Big names like Apple and Microsoft and chip makers including Intel all made big gains as investors remained optimistic about the technology sector, even though much of the market has been shaken by escalating tensions between the United States and its trading partners, especially China.

Fox has also vowed to provide a Disney-owned Sky News channel with funding of at least £100 million a year for 15 years. At this point I would be amazed if Fox didn't go to Disney, and that of course means good news for Marvel fans looking to see X-Men and Fantastic Four return home to Marvel Studios.

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