Text pi to 797979

for an Immediate Response

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Comcast Proposes to Buy European Sky Network for $31 Billion

Comcast proposed to buy the European entertainment behemoth Sky for $31 billion in cash early on Tuesday, seeking to undercut a long-standing bid by 21st Century Fox.

“We think Sky is an outstanding company,”  said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, in a release issued in the early hours. “It has 23 million customers and leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany.  Sky has been a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver a fantastic viewing experience and has a proud record of investment in news and programming.  It has great people and a very strong and capable management team.”

Comcast said it would offer 12.50 British pounds per share, equivalent to $31 billion US for the company, which it said was a 16 percent increase over an offer previously made by 21st Century Fox. The bid pursued by Fox chieftain Rupert Murdoch has been blocked by British regulators, concerned about the mogul’s influence over Sky News. The Fox bid is about $16 billion.

To allay the regulators’ concern, Fox has offered to create an editorial board with a majority of independent directors, and that had been considered an acceptable path to government approval. Murdoch has continued to pursue the deal with the pay TV giant even as Fox has agreed to sell its movie and television assets to Disney.

Fox already owns 39 percent of Sky. Murdoch has long coveted full ownership of Sky, and especially of Sky News, a 24-hour news channel.

But Comcast stepped into the ring with an aggressive bid, seeking a foothold in Europe.

Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for growth in Europe,” Roberts said.  “We already have a strong presence in London through our NBCUniversal international operations, and we intend to maintain Sky’s UK headquarters.  Adding Sky to the Comcast family of businesses will increase our international revenues from 9% to 25% of Company revenues.”

An investor call was set for later on Tuesday, London time.

Here is the news release from Comcast:

LONDON and PHILADELPHIA, PA – February 27, 2018 – Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) today published a Rule 2.4 announcement (under the City Code On Takeovers And Mergers (the “Code”)) regarding a possible offer which is a superior cash proposal to acquire Sky.  Sky is a leading consumer entertainment company in Europe, providing exceptional entertainment and communications services primarily in the UK, Germany, and Italy.

Comcast’s announcement of a superior cash proposal of £12.50 per share represents a 16% increase in value over the existing 21st Century Fox offer for Sky.  Comcast’s superior cash proposal implies an equity value of $31bn (£22bn) for Sky.

A combination would bring attractive financial benefits to Comcast shareholders, and is expected to be accretive to Comcast’s free cash flow per share in year one.

“We think Sky is an outstanding company.  It has 23 million customers and leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany.  Sky has been a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver a fantastic viewing experience and has a proud record of investment in news and programming.  It has great people and a very strong and capable management team,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation.  

Roberts added, Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for growth in Europe.  We already have a strong presence in London through our NBCUniversal international operations, and we intend to maintain Sky’s UK headquarters.  Adding Sky to the Comcast family of businesses will increase our international revenues from 9% to 25% of Company revenues.”

The acquisition would enhance the entertainment, distribution, and technology leadership of Comcast, and importantly expand Comcast’s international footprint to more effectively compete in the rapidly changing and intensely competitive entertainment and communications landscape.  The combined business would create compelling opportunities for growth and innovation.

 Comcast will host two conference calls with the financial community today, February 27, 2018.  The conference calls and related materials will be broadcast live and posted on its Investor Relations website at www.cmcsa.com.  Details for the calls are as follows:

Source: the wrap feed

IN THE NEWS

Contact Us

Reload

By signing or submitting this form, you agree to the terms and conditions and privacy policy of this website.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The true measure of a Private Investigator isn’t the awards, but what the awards say about the Private Investigator: dedication and commitment to the client.