21CF to sell 39% stake in Sky to Comcast

MUMBAI: 21st Century Fox (21CF) has said that it intends to sell its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast at a price of £17.28 for each Sky share in respect of the 21CF’s existing stake or sell 21CF’s existing stake to Comcast at the Comcast Offer price.

Disney, which has acquired 21st Century Fox, has consented to its decision to either accept the Comcast Offer in respect of 21CF’s existing stake or sell its existing stake to Comcast. The Comcast Offer values 21CF’s existing shareholding in Sky at over $15 billion

21CF in a statement said, “In light of the premium Comcast has agreed to pay for Sky, we and Disney have decided to sell 21CF’s existing 39% holding in Sky to Comcast. We congratulate Comcast on their pending acquisition. We are proud of the role our company has played in building Sky, and of the outstanding value, we have delivered for shareholders of 21CF and Sky, and customers across Europe.”

“When we launched Sky in 1989 it was four channels produced from a prefab structure in an industrial park on the fringes of west London. We bet — and almost lost — the farm on launching a business that many didn’t think was such a good idea. Today, Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company and a world-class example of a customer-driven enterprise. This achievement would not have been possible without decades of entrepreneurial risk-taking and the commitment of thousands of colleagues, creators and dreamers. For nearly 30 years we have invested to create a dynamic and exciting business that has produced excellent returns for shareholders and has become one of the most admired companies in Europe.

“We have provided greater choice and better value for families across Europe, and we have created more than 31,000 jobs across the continent. Today, Sky brings customers better TV than ever before and better entertainment experiences than many ever thought possible. We are grateful to our exceptional colleagues at Sky for creating this unique and outstanding company and wish them continued success.”

Earlier, American telecommunications conglomerate Comcast had prevailed over Disney with the highest offer price in the auction to acquire UK pay TV service provider Sky with an offer price of £17.28 per Sky share. This implies a value of $40 billion (£30.6 billion) for the fully diluted share capital of Sky.

Comcast and Disney have been engaged in a bidding war over control of Sky. Disney entered the fray courtesy its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox which holds 39% stake in the UK pay-TV operator.

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