Fox to sell Sky stake
September 26, 2018
By Colin Mann
21st Century Fox has confirmed that it intends either to accept the recommended revised cash offer by Comcast for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Sky plc at a price of £17.28 (€19.19) 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 has consented to 21CF’s 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 of 672,783,139 Sky Shares at £11.6 billion (€9.85bn).
In a Statement, 21CF 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,” it concluded.
Sky Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said: “Nearly 30 years ago Rupert Murdoch took a risk to launch Sky and in the process changed the way we watch television forever. His vision and belief has enabled us to grow in to Europe’s leading direct to consumer media business and I would like to personally thank him, [son] James and 21CF for their consistent support as shareholders, board members and friends.”
“On behalf of all our employees I would also like to thank James for his chairmanship as we have transformed Sky over the past decade. With 21CF announcing its intention to sell its shares to Comcast we close one chapter while simultaneously opening another. Our aim is to make the next 30 years as exciting for customers, colleagues and all our stakeholders.”
On December 15th 2016, 21CF announced a firm intention to make a recommended cash offer for the 61 per cent of shares in Sky not already owned by it at £10.75 per Sky share, with the bid attracting the attention of UK regulators, entailing a number of consultations during 2017 and 2018.
On February 27th 2018, Comcast announced that it was considering making an offer for Sky, to be implemented by way of a contractual offer subject to a 50 per cent plus 1 share acceptance condition. On April 25th 2018, Comcast announced a firm intention to make a cash offer for Sky at £12.50 per Sky share on this basis.