Comcast trumps Murdoch with €34bn offer to win control of Sky

Lloyd Doyle
September 25, 2018

Comcast Corp.'s winning bid for Sky Plc is poised to catapult the USA cable giant's debt load to $100 billion or more, putting it in a club that only a handful of other companies belong to. The protracted takeover effort - kicked off in December 2016 when Fox offered to acquire the share of the British broadcaster that it didn't already own - neared culmination this weekend with Comcast outbidding Fox in a rare one-day auction.

Shares in Sky plc are up 8.8 percent after Comcast won a bidding war for the British pay TV giant in a weekend auction that pushed the value of the company to nearly 30 billion pounds ($39 billion). But if the US company ends up with all of Europe's largest satellite broadcaster, its borrowings could almost double to $114 billion and its credit quality may face pressure, according to S&P Global Ratings analyst Naveen Sarma. We now encourage Sky shareholders to accept our offer, which we look forward to completing before the end of October 2018.

Mo Hamza, senior analyst at Kagan, the TMT arm at S&P Global Market Intelligence said the deal was as much about distribution as content: "Sky represents a unique opportunity that is likely to be transformational for Comcast".

Comcast said it was seeking to make further market purchases of Sky shares at a price of 17.28 per share.

Shares of Comcast fell 6 percent on Monday, as investors feared the cable giant overpaid for United Kingdom pay-TV provider Sky.

Disney has agreed a separate $71bn deal to buy most of Fox's film and TV assets, including its existing 39pc stake in Sky, and would have taken full ownership after a successful Fox takeover.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article