21st Century Fox has announced its intention to dispose of its remaining stake in European pay-TV operator Sky.
The announcement comes days after U.S. media conglomerate Comcast beat Fox in a one-day auction to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Sky on Saturday (Sept. 22).
Fox will either accept the recommended revised cash offer by Comcast for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Sky at £17.28 per share, or else sell Fox’s existing stake to Comcast at the Comcast offer price.
Disney, owner of 21st Century Fox, has consented to the decision. Comcast’s offer values Fox’s current Sky shareholding (672,783,139 shares) at £11.6 billion (US $15 billion).
21st Century Fox issued the following statement:
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.
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.
When we launched Sky in 1989 it was four channels produced from a prefab structure in an industrial park on the fringes of west London. We bet — and almost lost — the farm on launching a business that many didn’t think was such a good idea. Today, Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company and a world-class example of a customer-driven enterprise. This achievement would not have been possible without decades of entrepreneurial risk-taking and the commitment of thousands of colleagues, creators and dreamers. For nearly 30 years we have invested to create a dynamic and exciting business that has produced excellent returns for shareholders and has become one of the most admired companies in Europe.
We have provided greater choice and better value for families across Europe, and we have created more than 31,000 jobs across the continent. Today, Sky brings customers better TV than ever before and better entertainment experiences than many ever thought possible.
We are grateful to our exceptional colleagues at Sky for creating this unique and outstanding company and wish them continued success.
(Pictured: 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch)