21st Century Fox confirmed today it will sell its 39% stake in U.K. operator Sky to Comcast after Comcast won an auction for the publicly traded part of Sky.
Fox said it intends to either accept the recommended revised cash offer by Comcast for the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of Sky at a price of £17.28 each, or sell Fox’s existing stake to Comcast at the Comcast offer price.
Comcast’s offer for Sky values Fox’s stake at £11.6 billion (or more than $15 billion). Fox said that Disney, which is acquiring much of Fox as part of a $71.3 billion deal, has consented to Fox’s decision.
“In light of the premium Comcast has agreed to pay for Sky, we and Disney have decided to sell 21CF's existing 39% holding in Sky to Comcast. We congratulate Comcast on their pending acquisition,” said Fox in a statement. “We are proud of the role our company has played in building Sky, and of the outstanding value we have delivered for shareholders of 21CF and Sky, and customers across Europe.”
Fox’s decision comes after Comcast last weekend won a U.K. regulatory auction for Sky with a bid that sets an implied value of $40 billion (£30.6 billion) for the fully diluted share capital of Sky.
“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.