×

Bidding War for Sky Looks Likely to Be Decided by Auction

The protracted battle for control of Sky looks increasingly likely to be decided by auction after Fox followed rival bidder Comcast in extending the deadline on its offer for the pay-TV giant.

Comcast has lodged the higher bid for the U.K.-based business, at £14.75 ($19.41) per share. Fox, which already owns 39% of Sky, has offered £14 per share. On Monday, Fox extended the deadline for Sky shareholders to accept its current offer to Oct. 6, the same day as Comcast’s deadline.

“Sky shareholders who have not yet accepted [our] offer are urged to do so as soon as possible,” Fox said in a statement filed with the U.K. Stock Exchange.

Fox did not signal any intention to increase its bid, although it has until Saturday to do so. Sky’s board has backed Comcast’s richer offer, but fewer than 1% of Sky shareholders have so far opted for either side.

The deadlock paves the way for an unusual auction run by the U.K. Takeover Panel, which will see a definitive winner in the battle for control. The framework for the auction – its duration, the number of bids allowed, whether the bids will be made public – is reportedly under discussion by the panel, Comcast and Fox.

In a quick-fire faceoff, Fox starts with the considerable advantage of already controlling 39% of Sky shares, meaning that it would only have to persuade the holders of another 11% of Sky’s shares, plus one extra, to emerge the victor. Comcast, by contrast, must achieve 50%-plus-one from zero.

Fox has fought hard to get its offer for Sky approved by U.K. regulators in the face of stiff opposition. It has agreed to a raft of measures including handing the stewardship of the Sky News channel to Disney.

Disney, in turn, is in the throes of buying a raft of Fox’s entertainment assets, including its stake in Sky, having beaten off competition from Comcast.

More TV

  • Harley Quinn DC Universe

    4 Things We Learned at TCA 2019: Day 1

    The 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour kicked off on Tuesday with presentations from DC Universe, A+E Networks, and Nat Geo. DC Universe, the DC-branded streaming service, brought their adult animated series based on “Harley Quinn,” while A+E brought along a range of projects from across their portfolio. It was also announced that A+E [...]

  • The Boys Amazon Prime

    TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops 'The Boys' Final Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, USA releases the trailer for the second season of “The Purge” and Amazon drops the final trailer before “The Boys” launches.  RENEWALS Viceland has renewed the pro wrestling docu-series “Dark Side of the Ring” for a second season. The upcoming season will feature 10 hour-long episodes chronicling the lives of wrestlers inside [...]

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA West Unveils Candidates for Election That Reflects Discord Over Agency Campaign

    The WGA West has unveiled the slate of candidates for officer posts and board seats in the election that reflects the divisions among members over the guild’s handling of the campaign to reform its rules governing talent agents. Scribes Phyllis Nagy (“Carol”) and William Schmidt (“Yellowstone”) are set to challenge David Goodman for the president’s [...]

  • The Code CBS

    'The Code' Canceled After One Season on CBS

    Freshman military drama “The Code” is officially done at CBS. The news comes just one day after the show’s season finale, which will now serve as the show’s series finale. “Thank you to all you wonderful people who watched [‘The Code’],” series star Dana Delany wrote on Twitter. “Last night was our finale and sadly, [...]

  • Matt Tolmach'Venom' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Amazon to Develop Human IPO Series With Matt Tolmach Producing

    Amazon is developing a series inspired by the true story of a man who sold shares of himself to investors, Variety has learned. In a competitive situation, Amazon has landed the project, titled “JNNA.” It is described as a half-hour comedy about the next big investment craze — humans. It is inspired by Mike Merrill, [...]

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Projects More Than $1.2 Billion in Ad Sales for 2020 Olympics

    NBCUniversal projected it would sell more than $1.2 billion in advertising for its 17 days of broadcasts of the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo, citing the event as a rare opportunity for Madison Avenue to reach big audiences without the worry of politics getting in the way of a commercial message. The Olympics is “one of [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    'Surviving R. Kelly' Follow Up, Jeffrey Epstein Docuseries in the Works at Lifetime

    Lifetime is working on a follow up to the hit docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” and a new docuseries about Jeffrey Epstein. Rob Sharenow, president of programming for A+E Networks, made the announcements at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday. “The Aftermath” will be a four-part series featuring interviews with new survivors, psychologists, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content