Mergers & acquisitions

Fox's Sky Offer Doesn't Trump Comcast's, but Could Extend Bidding War

21st Century Fox did not exceed Comcast's offer to buy the rest of Sky, the UK-based video giant with about 23 million subs spanning seven countries, but gave itself some time to circle back with a bigger bid.

On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox formalized its already-announced bid of £14 per share for the 61% of Sky it doesn't already own as a public takeover. That offer price still lags Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s richer bid of £14.75 per share. (See Eurobites: Comcast Ups Its Bid for Sky.)

Fox had until Thursday (August 9) to make the formal offer or essentially cede it to Comcast. The deadline for Fox to produce a revised, potentially bigger, offer is September 22. If that happens, it will prolong the bidding war with Comcast, whose offer has been recommended by Sky's committee of independent directors.

Fox, which has a deal in place to sell most of its entertainment properties (including its current stake in Sky) to the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), is set to release Q4 results Wednesday.

Comcast, meanwhile, has dropped out of the hunt for Fox and is instead focusing on acquiring Sky. (See Comcast Gives Up on Fox, Focuses on Sky.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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