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21st Century Fox, Sky Reach Agreement on Possible $15 Billion Merger

9 Dec, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sky plc. Dec. 9 disclosed its board, as well as the board of directors from 21st Century Fox Inc., has reached a majority takeover agreement regarding an offer price of £10.75 per share ($13.52), or about $15 billion. The final offer would deduct the value of any dividends subsequently paid by the British satellite operator, which has 20 million subscribers across operations in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.

In a regulatory filing, Sky said, “certain material offer terms remain under discussion and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made by 21st Century Fox, nor as to the terms of any such offer.”

The deal, if finalized and approved by Sky shareholders, would represent a 40% hike on the company’s Dec. 6 share price. It would also consummate media holdings held by Australian mogul Rupert Murdoch, who launched Sky in 1989 but retained minority ownership when it merged with satellite rival British Satellite Broadcasting.

Murdoch attempted to buy out Sky in 2010 — a bid ultimately undermined by a phone-hacking scandal at one of Murdoch’s now shuttered tabloid newspapers. In 2013, Murdoch spun off the publication business under the News Corp. banner; subsequently launching the 21st Century Fox corporate umbrella, which includes 20th Century Fox Studios, Fox Broadcasting and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, among other properties. 

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