The UK’s Takeover Panel Hearings Committee has confirmed its ruling that the Walt Disney Company will have to offer at least £14 (US$18) per share to buy UK pay-TV group Sky Media.
Disney will not be obliged to make the offer if Fox acquires 100% of Sky shares before the proposed Disney/Fox merger deal is complete, or if Comcast or any other interested third party acquires more than 50% of Sky shares — Comcast recently dropped out of a bidding war for 21st Century Fox assets but is still pursuing an acquisition of Sky.
The ruling uses Britain’s chain principle, which affects mergers and acquisitions by adjusting the share values of target companies when their ownership is split to fairly reflect projected adjustments in value, in this case resulting from the value Disney is attaching to Fox’s assets, including Sky. Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger (pictured) has called Sky the “crown jewel” of Fox’s assets.
The initial share price was set July 13, but the committee has held review hearings since, after a number of groups appealed the ruling.
Disney can still appeal to the Takeover Appeal Board in the lead up to the acquisition.
The committee will release reasons for the decision at an unspecified future date.
(Photo from Wikipedia)