21st Century Fox bumps its Sky bid to $32.5B as battle with Comcast drags on

Fox is upping its bid for Sky while also pursuing a deal to sell its studios to Disney. (Coolcaesar/Wikimedia)

21st Century Fox has come back with a new offer for the part of Sky it doesn’t already own as the company looks to best a competing offer for Sky from Comcast.

Fox’s new bid, valued at $32.5 billion, is worth £14 per share of Sky. It’s an 82.1% premium over Sky’s stock price, when Fox originally bid $24.7 billion bid for the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own, and it’s a 30.2% premium over that original bid. Fox pointed out that its new bid is a 12% premium to Comcast’s $29 billion bid for Sky.

Fox is still awaiting one more precondition from U.K. regulators, and the U.K. Secretary of State is expected to announce those final decisions on July 12. But for now Fox is continuing to tout the benefits of a fully combined Fox and Sky.

“The enhanced scale and capabilities of the combination will enrich Sky's ability to continue on its mission for years to come, especially at a time of dynamic change in our industry.  This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world, but none of whom have demonstrated the same local depth of investment and commitment to the UK and to Europe,” Fox said in a statement.

RELATED: Fox prepping $33B bid for Sky to fight off Comcast: report

The ball is now back in Comcast’s court, and the company is expected to return with a new offer for Sky, according to CNBC (which is owned by Comcast).

Fox’s revised bid for Sky arrives as Disney is pursuing a $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets including Sky. Disney is buying Fox’s film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000 Pictures; Fox‘s television creative units Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc and Tata Sky.

Fox said that Disney gave it the OK to take on more debt to raise its bid for Sky. Should the Disney-Fox deal fail to receive regulatory approval, Disney has agreed to reimburse 21CF for an amount equal to the difference between the cash consideration of £14 and £13 for each share of Sky purchased by 21CF pursuant to the Increased 21CF Offer, plus any interest and fees on such amount.