Murdoch's Fox ups Sky bid to $32.5 billion, all eyes on Comcast

The offer is likely to be followed up by another from Comcast a rival bidder for Sky which screens hit shows such as Westworld

The offer is likely to be followed up by another from Comcast a rival bidder for Sky which screens hit shows such as Westworld

Comcast has moved swiftly to table a £26bn offer to buy Sky, trumping Rupert Murdoch within hours of the media mogul tabling a new £24.5bn offer.

Comcast on Wednesday said its cash offer had been recommended by Sky's independent committee of directors and that it has committed financing required for the deal.

Fox offered £14 per share to value Sky at £24.5 billion ($32 billion), 12% more than Comcast's rival £22 billion offer.

Sky's shares have risen 95 percent since Fox made its first bid in 2016, and have risen 55 percent in the a year ago.

"The publication of the undertakings" - meaning Fox's concessions - "marks the final stage of the public-interest consideration of this case...." A month after 21st Century Fox had accepted the House of Mouse's $71.3 billion bid to acquire its film studio and TV assets, an impending lawsuit from a Fox shareholder could bring proceedings to another halt.

The expectation from some analysts had been that Fox would wait for final United Kingdom approval before coming back with a higher bid, but with Prime Minister Theresa May's government committing to release a decision on Thursday, Fox pulled the trigger.

He said amended guarantees had been made over Sky News to address concerns over media plurality, as well as changes to the associated brand licensing agreement following responses to the Government's consultation.

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Janedis laid out four possible scenarios: Comcast outbids Fox for Sky; Fox outbids Comcast and adheres to all conditions; Disney and Fox walk away and sell Comcast the remaining 40% stake in Sky; and Disney wins both Fox and Sky.

Fox's long-running pursuit for all of Sky has been plagued by United Kingdom government fears over media plurality and broadcasting standards and the influence of Australian-born U.S. citizen Murdoch.

Mr Hancock had told Parliament that if terms of a sale of Sky News could not be agreed, the "only effective remedy now would be to block the merger altogether". Sky shares closed at 15.15 pounds.

Fox increased Wednesday its bid to $18.58 a share as it seeks the 61% of Sky not already under its control.

Sky gives Fox and Comcast a rare opportunity to diversify out of the United States and reach more consumers directly.

"It's too low", Odey, a former son-in-law of Murdoch whose eponymous hedge fund is a Sky shareholder, said of the sweetened Fox offer.

Fox said Disney had given its consent to the additional debt Fox would take on and said that it would reimburse Fox by around 1 billion pounds if Fox succeeds in buying Sky at that price, but the Disney-Fox transaction falls through.

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