The U.K. Takeover Panel said Thursday that Walt Disney will be obliged to make a mandatory offer for Sky if its proposed acquisition of assets from 21st Century Fox proceeds.
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The regulatory body said that Disney would have to bid within 28 days of completion of its acquisition of Fox assets and that it its offer would have be of 10.75 pounds a share ($15.25), unless Fox has acquired 100% of Sky or Comcast or any other party has bought more than 50% of Sky by that time.
Fox has also offered to buy the 61% stake in Sky it doesn't already own for a total of GBP11.7 billion, or GBP10.75 a share. Comcast said on Feb. 27 that it was considering making an offer of GBP12.50 a share for the whole of Sky.
The Takeover Panel said that it considers that securing control of Sky might reasonably be considered to be a significant purpose of Disney's acquiring control of Fox assets.
Following the statement from the Takeover Panel, Sky advised its shareholders to take no action.
Fox's offer is under regulatory scrutiny of British regulators. The country's antitrust regulator--The Competition and Markets Authority--in January provisionally ruled the Fox offer against the public interest on media plurality grounds. However, Fox has proposed remedies to allay the regulators' concerns.
21st Century Fox and News Corp., parent company of Dow Jones, share common ownership.
21st Century Fox is also the parent company of FOXBusiness.com.
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