The battle to takeover Sky is set to intensify this week as 21st Century is expected to top Comcast’s $34B bid for the European pay-TV giant.
Rupert Murdoch’s Hollywood studio has until Thursday, under UK takeover rules, to make a new bid to buy the 61% of the Osterley-based company that it does not currently own.
If Fox is willing to increase its bid it is expected to do so before it reveals its fiscal year and fourth quarter financial results, which are due on Wednesday morning. This comes after Comcast raised its bid for Sky on July 11 to £14.75 per share, valuing Sky at $34B (£26B). This bid came hours after Fox made its own $32.5B offer. The Philadelphia-based company called buying Sky a “unique” company and a “good use of capital” following its own recent financials.
However, some analysts believe that Disney may well step into the fold instead of Fox to takeover Sky. Disney, which is due to report its third-quarter results on Tuesday afternoon, could make an outright bid for Sky after it secured shareholder approval from shareholders for its $71B takeover of Fox. Such a scenario would see Disney CEO Bob Iger go head-to-head once again with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts after the latter lost out on Fox.
Another important week in the acquisitions march to takeover the “crown jewels” of Sky and its 23M subscribers.