Murdoch's Fox ups Sky bid to $32.5 billion, all eyes on Comcast

Murdoch's Fox ups Sky bid to $32.5 billion, all eyes on Comcast

That is how Sky shareholders feel as Murdoch controlled 21st Century Fox raised the bidding once again for Sky, eclipsing USA cable network Comcast's £12.50 bid with an all cash offer of £14.

Fox is seeking to acquire the remaining 61 percent of Sky, valuing the company at $32.5 billion, and handing it over to Disney.

Comcast's initial offer was considerably higher than the Fox bid that valued the satellite broadcaster at £18.5bn. Murdoch has agreed to sell Fox's entertainment assets including its stake in Sky to Disney, though Comcast is weighing another counteroffer for the Fox portfolio.

Sky gives Fox and Comcast a rare opportunity to diversify out of the United States and reach more consumers directly.

Its offer represents an 82 percent premium to Sky's shares in 2016 before the takeover drama started, and a multiple of 21 times 2017 earnings per share. Those assets include the Fox's Hollywood studios, content library, cable channels, worldwide networks, and a 39-percent stake in Sky. Sky shares fell as much as 2% in early trading, as some investors had expected a higher counter from Fox (fox).

Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast, said: "We have long admired Sky, which we believe is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast". Sky's shares closed at £15.01 on Tuesday, suggesting shareholders think the battle is not over.

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Tom Watson, a British Labour Party politician and opponent of Fox's bid to buy Sky, told Variety that a bidding war could be a good thing for shareholders but that it is more important to protect Sky.

It advised the government in May that the deal should be allowed to go ahead but only if it sold Sky News to avoid concerns over plurality of media ownership in the UK.

KitGuru Says: No matter who ends up getting their hands on Fox's assets, the loss of competition from such a large player in the market is sure to be felt across the entertainment industry.

Sky now operates in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.

Currently, Fox has set July 27 as the meeting date for the stockholder vote on the Disney acquisition.

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