Sky Issues Statement On UK Panel Ruling

Hedge fund shareholders of Sky including Polygon Global Partners LLP had called for a mandatory bid for Sky by Disney at a higher price than the Fox offer

Disney Must Offer to Buy All of Sky If Fox Deal for Pay TV Giant Doesn't Close

The takeovers panel said that the basis of the ruling rests on the belief that "securing control of Sky might reasonably be considered to be a significant objective of Disney's acquiring control of Fox". That offer however is below the GBP12.50 per share bid made by NBCUniversal owner Comcast Corp back in February for Sky, as well as Sky's current share price.

The Takeover Panel, however, said it considered that securing control of Sky might reasonably be considered to be a significant objective of Disney's acquiring control of Fox, and it must make an offer within 28 days of buying the Fox assets.

Britain's Takeover Panel has ruled that Disney must offer to buy all of Sky if it succeeds in its planned purchase of the majority of 21st Century Fox. The deal for that is being reviewed by United Kingdom regulators, while Comcast has also said it was ready to make a competing offer for Sky.

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However, it ensures a guaranteed bidder for Sky in the event that British regulators don't sign off the Fox takeover.

Shares in Sky were trading marginally lower at 1,310.50 pence Thursday morning in London. Comcast's approach would see Sky shareholder's receive £12.50 a share, a significant premium to Murdoch's offer.

Earlier in April, Fox proposed two remedies to address plurality concerns voiced by United Kingdom mergers regulator the Competition & Markets Authority.

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The new regulatory requirement adds yet another wrinkle to an already complicated acquisition process that involves Disney, Fox, Sky and Comcast.

Fox proposed create a independent and separately run company for Sky News.

In a separate development, Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, said that Fox's potential involvement in a sports rights cartel should be taken into consideration by the regulators before they make a final decision on Mr Murdoch's takeover of Sky.

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Mr Watson, who is shadow culture secretary, said the news of the raid of Fox's office is "concerning". First was the mammoth deal to sell Fox's assets (only one of which is its interest in Sky) to Disney - a deal agreed in December 2017.

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