Sky accepts higher 21st Century Fox bid

Sky accepts higher 21st Century Fox bid

Fox raised its bid for the roughly 61% of Sky it doesn't already own by more than 30%, to £14 a share, in a deal that values all of Sky at £24.5 billion ($32.5 billion).

Fox, which is expecting to get regulatory approval from Britain this week after striking an initial deal with Sky in December 2016, upped its offer to 14 pounds per share, from its earlier 10.75 pounds per share.

"They're way behind the curve still", said Crispin Odey, founder of Odey Asset Management LLP, which owns shares of Sky. "I think it will go at about 18 pounds".

Now it's up to Comcast to respond.

"Today's announcement further underscores this belief and our commitment to owning Sky".

Comcast believes finding such partners will not only allow it to argue that it can win antitrust approval for the Fox assets as easily as Disney, but will also boost its finances as its prepares to make a second all-cash offer later this month, the sources said.

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Both Comcast (CCZ)and Fox see value in Sky as the media companies compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in Europe.

A spokesman for Comcast declined to comment on how the company will respond.

Fox's long-running pursuit for all of Sky has been plagued by United Kingdom government fears over media plurality and broadcasting standards and the influence of Australian-born U.S. citizen Murdoch.

Fox said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal.

"We welcome this increased offer", Martin Gilbert, deputy chairman of Sky, said in an emailed statement. "This offer reflects the strong position the business is in and is an attractive premium for shareholders".

Sky operates in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Italy as well as the U.K. It has 22.5 million customers, attracted by offerings such as English Premier League soccer and "Game of Thrones". If true, this would be in violation of security rules and may well block - or at the very least stall - Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox and its precious entertainment assets.

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