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Sky tops FTSE as Comcast gazumps Murdoch

02 March, 2018, 02:34 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • The London headquarters of Sky the target of a bidding war between Comcast and Twenty First Century Fox

Comcast itself had been in talks to buy parts of Fox, so its bid for Sky could be a more direct way to acquire media assets in Europe, analysts say.

Comcast has made a $31bln offer for Europe's satellite operator Sky, 16% more than what 21st Century Fox has offered for the 61% of the company it doesn't own.

Late previous year, Disney agreed to buy a big chunk of assets from Fox, including its stake in Sky, for more than $52 billion.

Chief Executive Roberts said the visit was one of a number of things that confirmed Sky as a "jewel" that his company should try to acquire, as Comcast looks to boost worldwide revenues as growth in the United States slows.

Comcast said its proposals would ensure the future of Sky News - the main sticking point for regulators in Fox's takeover plans because of Rupert Murdoch's major interests in the United Kingdom media sector.

Murdoch also owns News Corp which publishes the Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers.

Comcast's CEO, Brian Roberts, said his company would use Sky as a platform to grow in Europe.

He also described Sky as an "outstanding company" and said he was "confident" Comcast's offer would be approved by regulators.

Comcast is a United States multinational media and telecommunications giant. "There is no way we can see that Fox will walk away given how advanced the regulatory clearance process is". The 86-year-old mogul therefore has two options: revise the terms of the Disney sale to exclude Sky, or enter into a bidding war with Roberts. "We're able to sit down with the NBC creatives and Sky's creative team and there will be synergistic opportunities to work together on show concepts, film distribution and technology".

MoffettNathanson said the bad outweighs the good for Comcast shareholders because Sky is primarily a satellite company.

Logically there's no reason for Murdoch to go to the wire for Sky when he wants to sell it to Disney - eventually - anyway.

Murdoch's 21st Century Fox last week said it would allow Sky News run, with a fully independent board, for at least 10 year, in an effort to make the proposed deal more attractive to regulators.

Fox didn't immediately comment on the Comcast offer.

In 2010, News Corporation tried to completely take over Sky (at the time known as BSkyB).

"While Comcast does own a substantial global operation in the United Kingdom". Roberts also promised to keep Sky's headquarters in Osterley, which should neutalize Sky employee grousing.

Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson Research, a top analyst, had a mixed recation to Comcast's bid for Sky.

Comcast's $31 billion bid to buy United Kingdom broadcaster Sky is not just an attempt to thwart Disney or to expand globally. It's bid comes as Rupert Murdoch's plan to become the sole owner of Sky has not met with a favourable response from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority.

And Comcast, which in December dropped an attempt to acquire 21st Century Fox, is considering relaunching that bid, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.


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