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Comcast takes majority control of Sky

12 October, 2018, 18:31 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • James Murdoch’s departure ends his family’s association with the satellite television service

Comcast said on Tuesday that it has acquired more than 75% of Sky after snapping up the 39% stake that belonged to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

This resulted in Comcast proposing a winning bid of £17.28 per Sky share, implying a value of £30.6bn.

That remains to be seen but Team Sky are certainly thinking and acting long-term.

The U.S. cable company is now the majority shareholder of Sky which enjoys nearly 23 million European viewers, owning more than 75 percent of the European satellite company's issued ordinary share capital. The following directors have resigned from the Sky board with immediate effect: James Murdoch; John Nallen; Chase Carey; Martin Gilbert; Andy Sukawaty; Tracy Clarke; Katrin Wehr-Seiter.

Brian Roberts, chairman, and CEO of Comcast Corporation said the acquisition is only the start for more investment and growth in Sky's brand and platforms.

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Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive officer of Sky, said his team is now looking forward to developing the Sky's business as promised by Comcast.

Addressing concerns about whether Sky's news platform, Sky News, will maintain editorial independence following the acquisition, the CEO added, "We are also fully committed to ensuring Sky News' future, maintaining its editorial independence, and preserving its strong track record for trusted, high quality, impartial news".

Sky News will benefit greatly from Comcast's funding commitments over the coming years and the arrangements that will be put in place to preserve and enhance its editorial independence. Pursuant to Listing Rule 5.2.11R, Sky announces that the cancellation notice period of 20 business days commenced today and cancellation is expected to become effective on November 7th 2018.

In July, Comcast dropped its bidding war with Disney to acquire assets of 21st Century Fox.

Comcast bought Sky also to win a foothold in Europe and end its sole dependence on the United States at a time when Americans are switching to online streaming.

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