Comcast offered £12.50 for each Sky share in cash, which it said marks a premium of 16 per cent on Fox’s current offer to buy the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own. Shares in Sky rose more than 18 per cent at the market open to 1,305.5p.
Comcast’s move threatens to derail not only the Fox bid but also to throw a spanner in the works of Rupert Murdoch’s plan to sell Sky on to Disney as part of a $60bn asset sale. It is due to mark the media mogul’s retrenchment and Disney chief executive Bob Iger has labelled Sky the “crown jewel” of the deal.
Comcast’s bid values Sky at £22.1bn. The cable operator, which has a stock market valuation of more than £130bn, said it had long admired Britain’s biggest pay-TV operator.