Disney must bid for Sky, takeover umpire rules

Disney must bid for Sky, takeover umpire rules

Disney must bid for Sky, takeover umpire rules

At the time, Disney said it didn't think it should be forced into bidding for Sky. The panel said Disney, Fox and Sky had accepted the ruling.

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. Comcast in February said that it was considering making an offer for Sky.

Disney must make an offer to buy Sky if its deal with 21st Century Fox is completed before Fox's takeover of Sky, which is still being reviewed by the United Kingdom competition watchdog.

It added: "21st Century Fox remains committed to its recommended cash offer for Sky announced on 15th December 2016, which is supported by revised remedies recently offered to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) with whom 21st Century Fox has been co-operating in order to bring the United Kingdom regulatory process to a swift and satisfactory conclusion".

Shares in Sky on Thursday were down 0.2% in London at 1,307.00 pence, or GBP13.07, each.

In a statement, the Takeover Panel said: "The panel executive confirms that it has informed each of Disney, Fox and Sky of its ruling that, following completion of the acquisition by Disney of Fox..." In January, the United Kingdom competition watchdog ruled that the deal would be against public interest on media plurality grounds and would give too much control to the Murdoch family, which controls Fox. Comcast's approach would see Sky shareholder's receive £12.50 a share, a significant premium to Murdoch's offer.

While Fox's Sky deal awaits approval, Disney made a separate bid to buy most of Fox back in December, including its existing stake in Sky. Earlier in the month, the company proposed two remedies to address plurality concerns voiced by United Kingdom mergers regulator the Competition & Markets Authority.

But the takeover has been the subject of intense regulatory scrutiny and is yet to be signed off.

It is also not clear how Disney properties might benefit.

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