Shares jump up 9% as Disney bows out of the race.
Comcast delivers knockout blow in Sky takeover match
- US media giant Comcast delivered knockout blow with £17.28 cash offer, substantially ahead of Disney/Fox’s £15.67 bid
- Confirmation of deal ends long period of uncertainty for investors but deal viewed as worth it with shareholders in line to receive double amount
- Shares rise to just under level of winning bid and we suggest shareholders take up that offer
On Saturday, the long-running takeover battle for Sky finally came to an end. US media giants Comcast and 21st Century Fox entered an unusual sealed bids auction process comprised of three rounds. The picture was complicated a little further by the fact that entertainment group Disney is in the process of merging with Fox and was effectively dictating the bids from their side. After little progress in the first two rounds Comcast delivered the knockout blow in the final round with a £17.28 cash offer, which was substantially ahead of Disney/Fox’s £15.67 bid.
The end of the battle brings closure to what has been a long period of uncertainty for investors lasting since December 2016. However, the wait has been worth it for Sky shareholders given that at that time the shares were trading at just 755p and they’re now in line to receive more than double that amount. It was not especially surprising to see Comcast come out on top as Disney/Fox originally bid just £10.75 and clearly was not prepared to go much higher than its last bid of £14.00 before the auction process began.
For Comcast the prospect of gaining Sky’s 23m customers and instantly picking up assets across several large European markets was very tempting. As a cable television operator in the US facing rising competition from Netflix and Amazon it provides them with an attractive overseas business with potential to expand further in Europe.
Sky’s independent committee is recommending that shareholders accept the offer immediately to ensure that it is successful. The shares today rose 9% to just under the level of the winning bid and we would suggest shareholders take up that offer.
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