21st Century Fox Reaches Preliminary Deal To Acquire UK’s Sky
Five years after then-20th Century Fox scrapped a deal to acquire Sky amid the hacking scandal, it looks like a sale will happen after all. Sky said today that it has reached an agreement on an offer price for £10.75 per share in cash ($13.52), or around $15 billion.
Said Sky: “The independent directors of Sky note today’s share price increase, and announce that Sky has received an approach from 21st Century Fox, Inc. After a period of negotiation, the Independent Directors of Sky and 21st Century Fox have reached agreement on an offer price of £10.75 per share in cash, less the value of any dividends subsequently paid by Sky.
“However, certain material offer terms remain under discussion and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made by 21st Century Fox, nor as to the terms of any such offer.”
Analysts have been waiting for Fox to make a move. CEO James Murdoch hinted at an investor conference this week that one was likely saying that ”a 39% holding is not natural for us.”
Fox shares initially spiked on the news, but quickly dropped to about -2% in mid-day trading.
Rupert Murdoch created Sky in the late 1980s. He quickly lost control when he merged the company with BSB, creating BSkyB. He tried to buy it in 2010, but was forced to scuttle his plans when his company came under intense scrutiny during the News Of The World hacking scandal.