Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Ups Sky Bid to Beat Rival Comcast

Disney Fox Deal Faces Lawsuit From Fox Shareholder

Comcast has said that Sky is very important because it could take the US -bound cable and internet giant into global markets.

21st Century Fox is the parent company of FOX News and FOX Business.

Sky shares traded at 14.85 pounds as of 8:14 a.m.in London.

And should Comcast be successful in its bid to overtake Disney and buy Fox, Disney could in turn buy those RSN's and fold them into the ESPN brand.

Disney secured conditional USA approval to buy the assets last month, giving it an edge over Comcast's bid.

The world's biggest entertainment company and owner of NBC and Universal Pictures gate-crashed Murdoch's bid for Sky in February.

Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky, said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal. This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world, but none of whom have demonstrated the same local depth of investment and commitment to the United Kingdom and to Europe.

"They're way behind the curve still", said Crispin Odey, founder of Odey Asset Management LLP, which owns shares of Sky.

Fox shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Disney deal on July 27.

One hedge fund manager with a stake in Sky welcomed that pledge as a sign that Disney backed Fox in the battle.

Under the terms of the increased 21CF offer, Sky shareholders will be entitled to receive £14 in cash for each Sky share and this increased price includes an amount in lieu of a final dividend for the financial year ended June 30, 2018.

"Fox coming back in for Sky isn't a surprise in itself, but the fact the offer is slightly behind what some had anticipated brings another twist", said George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. It's also thought that, despite welcoming a new counteroffer from Comcast, Rupert Murdoch is in favor of Disney over Comcast due to antitrust concerns, even after the successful AT&T and Time Warner merger. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

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