Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has agreed a deal to take full control of Sky in a move which values the UK media group at £18.5bn.
The £10.75 a share cash offer represents a 40 per cent premium to the closing share price on December 6 – the last business day prior to the initial approach being received – and a 36 per cent premium on the closing price on December 8. If approved the deal will cost Fox around £11bn, reports David Bond in London.
Sky’s share price climbed almost 30 per cent on news of the offer to £10.24.
For months now there has been speculation that Mr Murdoch was preparing to seize the remaining 61 per cent of Sky which he didn’t control.
Over the last year the company’s share price has fallen and the plunge in the value of sterling following the UK’s vote for Brexit made it vulnerable to an American bidder like Fox. Mr Murdoch’s son James was reinstalled as chairman in April and was quoted last year saying that Fox’s 39 per cent holding was not a natural state for the company.
Fox had to abandon a bid to buy the company in 2011 after public and political pressure following the phone hacking scandal.