Murdoch’s Fox agrees $32.5 billion bid for Sky

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The 21st Century Fox logo is displayed outside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan borough of New York City on June 15, 2018. Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has agreed a deal to buy Britain’s Sky with an offer valuing the pay-TV group at $32.5 billion, trumping rival bidder Comcast.

Fox, which is expecting to get regulatory approval from Britain this week after striking an initial deal with Sky in December 2016, upped its offer to 14 pounds per share, from its earlier 10.75 pounds per share.

The price agreed, which represents an 82 percent premium to the price of Sky’s shares in December 2016 before Fox’s initial offer, is at a multiple of 21 times 2017 earnings per share, Fox said.

But Fox may still face further competition from US cable giant Comcast which submitted its own bid for Sky in February, valuing the pan European group at 12.50 pounds per share.

Sky’s shares closed at 15.01 pounds on Tuesday, which means that the shareholders may also not like the price.

Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky, said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal.

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