The U.K. Takeover Panel said in April that if Disney completed its deal for Fox assets, including 39% of Sky, before Fox concluded its own attempt to buy out the remainder of the European pay-TV giant, Disney would be obliged to make a £10.75 per share offer for all of Sky.
But since that announcement, Comcast has submitted a bigger bid for Sky – a £12.50-per-share, £22 billion offer – and Disney has made a new, richer $71.3 billion offer for Fox. Sky’s independent shareholders have argued that, as Disney’s bid for Fox has increased, the amount that Disney must offer them for their Sky stock should also go up.
The panel, which supervises and regulates takeovers in the U.K., said it would consider that issue. Various interested parties have been in touch with the panel, it said in a statement Thursday.
“The Executive has received submissions from a number of parties expressing diverging views in relation to this matter, including from Disney, Fox and the independent directors of Sky,” it said. “The Executive is considering what impact the 20 June increase [in Disney’s offer for Fox] should have on the consideration payable under the Chain Principle Offer and will make a further announcement in due course.”
No time frame was set for a decision. Both Disney’s attempt to buy Fox, and Fox and Comcast’s attempt to buy Sky, are ongoing. In the U.K., Fox has committed to offloading Sky News to Disney to get its Sky deal over the line. The government has said the deal would finally get its approval should that happen.
Comcast’s offer for Sky has received European approval, and the British government has said it poses no major anti-competition issues.