Comcast won its weekend auction against 21st Century Fox for U.K. pay TV operator Sky, which sold for an offer price of £17.28 per Sky share.
The transaction sets an implied value of $40 billion (£30.6 billion) for the fully diluted share capital of Sky. The bid is well above the $34 billion that Comcast bid for Sky back in July.
For its trouble, Comcast now takes majority ownership of Sky’s more than 23 million European subscribers as well as Sky’s entertainment assets.
“This is a great day for Comcast. Sky is a wonderful company with a great platform, tremendous brand, and accomplished management team. This acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally. We couldn’t be more excited by the opportunities in front of us. We now encourage Sky shareholders to accept our offer, which we look forward to completing before the end of October 2018,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in a statement.
After the auction, Fox said it was weighing its options regarding the 39% stake in Sky it currently owns.
"We note the increased cash offer for the fully diluted share capital of Sky by Comcast, and that it has been recommended by the Independent Committee of Sky. 21CF is considering its options regarding its own 39 percent shareholding in Sky and will make a further announcement in due course. Sky is a remarkable story and we are proud to have played such a significant role in building the incredible value reflected today in Comcast's offer,” Fox said in a statement.
For Comcast, winning the battle for Sky marks something of a coup after the U.S. cable giant ultimately lost out to Disney in a bid to acquire a large portion of 21st Century Fox’s assets. Disney’s $71.3 billion bid for Fox includes the company’s 39% stake in Sky.