Comcast scores a victory over Fox with £30bn bid for Sky

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US cable and broadband telecoms company Comcast is to buy Europe’s Sky for £30 billion after beating 21st Century Fox in a blind auction.

Sky advised its shareholders on Monday morning that they accept Comcast’s offer of £17.28 a share, compared with Fox’s £15.67. The auction was managed by the UK Takeover Panel following a long bidding war between the two companies. 

Sky said: “As the price of the Comcast offer is materially superior, it is in the best interests of all Sky shareholders to accept the Comcast offer.”

Shareholders should “accept immediately”, said Sky’s board, though shareholders are still in theory able to accept either offer by 11 October.

Fox already owns 61% of Sky: its offer was intended to take ownership to 100%, and it is entirely possible that Fox will now agree to sell its shares to Comcast, making the whole thing a done deal. Comcast needs 50% of Sky’s shares to take control. Sky’s shares were £17.22 this morning, just below the Comcast offer.

Comcast owns US media company CNBCUniversal. The end of a long saga also means the end of Rupert Murdoch’s association with Sky after three decades: he bought a one-channel pan-European service called Sky Television and turned it into a media empire that has changed the fortunes of English football.