Comcast has announced that it does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox’s entertainment assets — choosing instead to focus on beating 21CF to acquire Sky.
“Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” it said in a statement.
“I’d like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation.
The decision means that Disney will be able go ahead with its offer of $71.3 billion for Fox’s entertainment properties, which include a 39 per cent stake in Sky.
On July 11th, 21st Century Fox increased its bid to buy the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own in a deal that values the broadcaster at $32.5 billion, passing that of Comcast. Comcast raised its bid for Sky on July 12th, valuing the pay-TV giant at £26 billion and trumping Fox’s bid of £24.5 billion (€27.7bn, $32.4bn).
Comcast’s increased offer has been recommended by Sky’s independent committee of directors. It is now offering £14.75 a share for Sky compared with £14 from Fox.