Comcast pips Disney to acquire Sky for $40 bn

MUMBAI: American telecommunications conglomerate Comcast has 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. This announcement ends the competitive bidding process for 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.

Comcast chairman CEO Brian L. Roberts said, “This is a great day for Comcast. Sky is a wonderful company with a great platform, tremendous brand, and an accomplished management team. This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally. We couldn’t be more excited by the opportunities in front of us. We now encourage Sky shareholders to accept our offer, which we look forward to completing before the end of October 2018.”

Sky shareholders need to ratify the deal and tender their shares to Comcast, a process that is expected to be completed next month. Getting Sky is consolation for Comcast which had to let go of its efforts to acquire 21st Century Fox.

Following the winning bid by Comcast, Sky has recommended its shareholder to accept Comcast offer.

“As the price of the Comcast Offer is materially superior, it is in the best interests of all Sky shareholders to accept the Comcast Offer,” the company said.

“Accordingly, the Independent Committee unanimously recommends that Sky shareholders accept the Comcast Offer, and in order to ensure the successful closing of the Comcast Offer, and given the possibility of a delisting of Sky in the near future, urges shareholders to accept immediately.”

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