21st Century Fox will continue its $15.7B takeover of European pay-TV giant Sky following its $66B acquisition by Disney. The company revealed that it would continue with the deal to buy the remaining 61% of Sky that it does not currently own following the mega-merger.
The company added that it expects the Sky deal to be closed by June 30, 2018 and is confident that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which recently postponed its decision until the new year, and Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will approve the transaction.
“Today’s announcement does not alter 21st Century Fox’s full commitment and obligation to conclude our proposed transaction to acquire the balance of Sky that we do not already own,” it noted.
“As Sky’s founding shareholder and long-term investor, 21st Century Fox has always been focused on ensuring its continued growth and success. We remain of the firm belief that full ownership of Sky will unlock even greater growth and enhance its future competitiveness in a global marketplace in which Sky is competing against new digital only entrants and some of the largest companies in the world.”
A number of industry executives believe that the deal may face less regulatory scrutiny under Disney ownership, particularly as Fox News has been spun-off into a separate company. Analyst Tom Eagan of Telsey Advisory Group said Disney’s comparative lack of baggage gives it “leverage in the purchase price. There’s no reason Disney should pay a premium over the $14.36 per share that Fox has offered.”