Comcast bids £22bn for Sky in head-to-head Murdoch battle

Comcast launches official £22bn bid for Sky sparking hopes of a titanic bidding war

Comcast launches official £22bn bid for Sky sparking hopes of a titanic bidding war

European broadcaster Sky Plc withdrew its recommendation for the 21st Century Fox bid following the rival all-cash offer from Comcast, Bloomberg News reported.

The owner of NBC Universal announced terms for a pre-conditional cash offer this morning.

On Wednesday, Sky said it welcomed Comcast's firm intention to bid for it, as well as commitments the US cable giant had made to address potential public-interest concerns over Sky News, its influential 24-hour news channel.

Comcast said it intends to give binding undertakings to maintain safeguards for the protection of Sky News's editorial independence for ten years.

Sky's independent directors said they welcomed Comcast's 12.50 pound per share bid and would now engage with both Comcast and Fox.

Fox already owns 39 per cent of Sky and made a bid to take full control of the group in December 2016.

Flyers down Penguins on road to force Game 6
Philadelphia should release an update confirming the 21-year-old Russian's status for Game 6 ahead of puck drop Sunday afternoon. The Flyers had a 46.67 CF% in the final 20 minutes at 5-on-5, but had three high danger scoring chances to one for Pittsburgh.

Its takeover play further complicates the Fox/Sky saga, with Walt Disney also recently being told by Britain's Takeover Panel that it must bid for the whole of Sky even if Rupert Murdoch's offer is blocked.

Fox has already agreed on paper to sell its stake in Sky to Disney as part of a $52.4 billion (£37.5 billion) package of film and TV assets.

The Comcast offer values Sky at £22 billion ($31 billion), roughly £3 billion ($4.2 billion) more than Murdoch's bid. The company said it saw $500 million of synergies from the deal.

It said it would expect the deal to complete before the end of 2018.

Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive of Comcast, said: "With its 23 million retail customers, leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany, and its history of strong financial performance, we see significant opportunities for growth by combining our businesses".

21st Century Fox issued a statement saying it remains committed to its offer and is "currently considering its options". Since Comcast announced its proposed bid in February, Sky's shares had been trading at more than 13 pounds, at a premium to the Comcast price, as investors expected a protracted battle for the United Kingdom broadcaster.

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