Advanced Television

Sky/21CF confidentiality agreement

March 16, 2018

By Colin Mann

In a move that will help pave the way for its takeover by 21st Century Fox, Sky has entered into a confidentiality agreement with Fox and The Walt Disney Company.

In accordance with market rules on Takeovers and Mergers, Sky revealed the terms of the agreement, which relate to the disclosure of information for the purpose of enabling 21CF and Disney to assess and, if necessary, obtain certain antitrust and other regulatory approvals needed in connection with the proposed acquisition of 21CF by Disney announced on December 14th 2017, including the proposed indirect acquisition of 21CF’s interest in the Company.

21CF owns 39 per cent of Sky, the European pay-TV operator, and is trying to buy the remaining 61 per cent of the company in an £11.7 billion (€13.6bn) deal that it proposed in December 2016. In December 2017, Disney, offered $66.1 billion for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets, including its stake in Sky. At the end of February 2018, US cable MSO Comcast, offered £22.1 billion (€25bn) to buy all of Sky.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is obliged to deliver its final report on 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of Sky to Matt Hancock, the culture secretary, by May 1st. He is then expected to rule within 30 days.

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