US media company 21st Century Fox is set to table a cash bid valuing pan-European pay-television broadcaster Sky, a major broadcaster of sports coverage, at £10.75 (€12.84/$13.64) per share as early as tomorrow (Wednesday), according to the Reuters news agency.
The bid will be lodged for the 61 per cent of the company that is currently not controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox. Sky confirmed in an announcement to the London Stock Exchange on Friday afternoon that its independent directors and Fox had reached an agreement on the offer price of £10.75 per share in cash, less than the value of any dividends subsequently paid by Sky. The offer will reportedly be valued at around £18bn.
Sources told Reuters that the two parties had agreed to press ahead with putting together a scheme of agreement, which is typically used in friendly takeovers in the UK that require 75-per-cent approval from shareholders, as opposed to 90 per cent under normal UK takeover rules.
“If a bid at this level is forthcoming, shareholders themselves will have the opportunity to accept a price which reflects a 40-per-cent premium or they can chose to continue to hold their stock,” said a Sky spokesperson.
Sky has live rights for football's English Premier League in the UK.