Comcast Increases Sky Bid to $34B, Trumping Fox Offer


21st Century Fox had raised its offer for the European pay TV giant to £24.5 billion, or $32.5 billion.

U.S. cable giant and NBCUniversal owner Comcast has sweetened its offer for European pay TV giant Sky to £26 billion ($34 billion), or £14.75 per share, once again outbidding 21st Century Fox, which had on Wednesday raised its offer to £24.5 billion ($32.5 billion), or £14 per share.

The European Union in mid-June cleared Comcast’s bid after the U.K. government said it would not require a closer review by regulators.

“Based on the results of its market investigation, the commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns,” the European Union’s Commission said last month. “Comcast and Sky are mainly active in different markets in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the U.K. and Spain. They compete with each other only to a limited extent, mainly in the acquisition of TV content and in the wholesale supply of basic pay-TV channels.”

Comcast previously said it anticipates $500 million in revenue and cost synergies.

A deal for Sky would expand Comcast’s international footprint to “more effectively compete in the rapidly changing and intensely competitive entertainment and communications landscape,” the cable giant has said.

Comcast said Wednesday in a filing that its new offer represents a 91.8 percent premium to where shares of Sky were trading Dec. 6, 2016, the last business day before 21st Century Fox first offered to purchase the 61 percent of the company it did not already own.

The battle for Sky is running simultaneously with Comcast’s and Disney’s desire to purchase a large chunk of 21st Century Fox, including its 39 percent Sky stake. Disney is ahead in that bidding war with an offer of $71 billion.

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