Sky shares soar on Comcast takeover victory

Shares in British broadcaster Sky soared on Monday after US cable giant Comcast outgunned Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in a dramatic auction for the pan-European television operator.

In morning deals, Sky shares surged 8.8% to £17.24 on London’s falling FTSE 100 index, after Comcast bid £30.6-billion ($40-billion) or £17.28 per share in a blind auction held on Saturday.

Fox, which already owns 39% of Sky, had offered £15.67 per share to value the total group at £27.6-billion.

Management at Sky has recommended that its shareholders “immediately” accept the bid, which it has described as “an excellent outcome”.

The heart-stopping auction drama marked a climax to a long-running battle for control of Europe’s biggest pay-TV provider.

“Sky shareholders are popping the champagne after this weekend’s bidding auction valued the company at eye watering levels,” said Interactive Investor analyst Rebecca O’Keeffe.

The takeover tussle comes as global players like Comcast and 21st Century Fox grapple with a fast-changing television landscape — and intense competition from online streaming giants Amazon and Netflix.

“The premium that is being offered by Comcast in indicative of how much pressure is on traditional media platforms,” added O’Keeffe.

“Their newer tech savvy rivals have revolutionised the way people engage with TV and internet content.”

Sky broadcasts blockbuster films and drama including cult US series Games of Thrones, and has lucrative rights to English Premier League football.


The London-listed group, which has a subscription base of 23 million, is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most profitable and powerful TV companies.

The weekend auction all but settled a titanic battle between the two media empires, but the Comcast bid remains subject to shareholder approval.

Comcast was forced to drop a separate bid to take over Fox itself because it needed the money to go after Sky.

This allowed Walt Disney Co. to complete a mega-merger with Fox that should close next year.

Saturday’s auction thus turned into a proxy battle between Comcast and Disney for Sky.

“The bidding war is over and the biggest winners in all of this are Sky shareholders,” said Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson.

“The £17.28 offer from Comcast delivered the requisite knockout blow.

“It had always been the case that Sky meant more to Comcast that it would to Disney/Fox.”

© Agence France-Presse

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Agency
External source
Advertising

‘Tenderpreneurs’ block the delivery of protective equipment to schools

Protests by local suppliers have delayed PPE delivery, which according to the DBE, is one of the reasons the reopening of schools has been pushed back until June 8

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing
Advertising

Press Releases

Empowering his people to unleash their potential

'Being registered as an AGA(SA) means you are capable of engineering an idea and turning it into money,' says Raymond Mayekisa

What is an AGA(SA) and AT(SA) and why do they matter?

If your company has these qualified professionals it will help improve efficiencies and accelerate progress by assisting your organisation to perform better

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday