Sky Issues Statement On UK Panel Ruling

CREDIT Courtesy of Disney  Pixar

The Takeover Panel said that it considers that securing control of Sky might reasonably be considered to be a significant goal of Disney's acquiring control of Fox assets.

Fox now owns a 39% stake in Sky and is trying to buy the remaining stake 61%.

The panel said that if its offer for Fox assets succeeds, Disney must bid to take full control of Sky and match Fox's £10.75-a-share offer for the 61pc of Sky it does not already own.

Disney will be required to make a mandatory offer for all of Sky after completing its proposed acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox, according to the UK Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.

The ruling settles months of speculation regarding whether Disney would have to make a direct bid for Sky after Disney's December offer for the bulk of Fox's media and entertainment assets.




Sky shares were mostly unchanged at 1,311 pence as of 11:41am in London.

In a Statement, Sky said it noted the ruling.

Disney in December had announced its agreement to buy a large part of Fox, including the Twentieth Century Fox movie and televison studio, cable channels including regional sports networks and key global properties, including the stake in Sky. However, Fox has proposed remedies to allay the regulators' concerns. Rice said the new company will probably just be called "Fox".

Fox has been trying to buy the remaining stake in Sky but has faced regulatory hurdles in completing the deal. It also said that Disney was interested in acquiring Sky News. Meanwhile, it is awaiting the outcome of the United Kingdom competition regulator's verdict on whether to allow Murdoch to buy the 61% of Sky he does not already own - a deal that was well in train before the Disney transaction.

In a separate development, Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, said that Fox's potential involvement in a sports rights cartel should be taken into consideration by the regulators before they make a final decision on Mr Murdoch's takeover of Sky.

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