Disney forced into takeover offer for Sky by United Kingdom authority

Darnell Taylor
April 12, 2018

However this will not apply if either Fox's takeover bid for the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own is approved before the sale of most of its assets to Disney, or if rival Sky bidder the U.S. broadcast company Comcast acquires more than half of Sky's shares in a deal.

"Further advice to Sky Shareholders will be announced in due course", it said.

Disney will be required to make an offer to purchase all Sky shares if 21st Century Fox's bid to acquire the remaining 61% of the satcaster is not approved prior to completion of Disney's acquisition of Fox, the British Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has ruled.

Fox now owns 39 percent, but has offered to take over the remaining 61 percent to take full control.

The decision may disappoint some Sky shareholders expecting Disney to be forced into a higher mandatory offer.

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Disney will have to make a full takeover bid for Sky even if the competition regulator quashes Rupert Murdoch's £11.7bn attempt to buy 100% of Britain's biggest pay-TV broadcaster, the United Kingdom takeover panel has ruled. "Disney have underpinned the 10.75 bid".

If the Competition and Markets Authority clears Murdoch's bid and Disney is in turn allowed to complete its Fox deal, then Sky will come under the full ownership of the theme parks-to-films conglomerate. At the time, Disney said it didn't think it should be forced into bidding for Sky. At the time the Disney deal was announced, Fox said it still was committed to completing its proposed acquisition of the rest of Sky.

A bid at £10.75 a share values all of Sky at £18.5 billion ($26 billion).

Shares in Sky on Thursday were flat in London at 1,310.00 pence, or GBP13.10, each.

"All of us really believe it's going to end up in a bidding war", Odey said, speculating that as high as £16 per share could be offered.

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