Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

James Murdoch steps down from Sky board after Comcast completes takeover

Comcast's $40 billion Sky takeover becomes unconditional Murdoch steps aside as Comcast secures Sky
Sidney Guerrero | 12 October, 2018, 18:31

Comcast announced on Tuesday in the United Kingdom that it has completed the acquisition of 21st Century Fox's Sky shares, making the Philly-based company the majority owner of one of Europe's most powerful telecommunications companies.

21CF sold its shares to Sky at the £17.28 per-share price that Comcast has bid for the rest of the company.

That remains to be seen but Team Sky are certainly thinking and acting long-term.

Fox already had a 39% stake in Sky and had been aiming to take full control of the company - which was launched by Fox's executive chairman Rupert Murdoch in 1989.

"We congratulate Comcast on reaching completion of its acquisition of Sky, and continue to advise that those shareholders who have not yet tendered into the recommended Comcast offer should do so immediately".

Delisting of the Sky Shares and the re-registration of Sky as a private limited company would significantly reduce the liquidity and marketability of any Sky Shares in respect of which the Comcast Offer has not been accepted at that time.

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Brian Roberts, chairman, and CEO of Comcast Corporation said the acquisition is only the start for more investment and growth in Sky's brand and platforms.

In light of the news, James Murdoch has stepped down from Sky's board alongside six other directors.

"We are also fully committed to ensuring Sky News' future, maintaining its editorial independence, and preserving its strong track record for trusted, high quality, impartial news", Roberts added in reference to the 24-hour rolling channel. "Separately, Sky News will benefit greatly from Comcast's funding commitments over the coming years and the arrangements that will be put in place to preserve and enhance its editorial independence".

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS), which has agreed to acquire the entertainment assets of Fox, consented to the sale.

With this majority stake Comcast's ownership now becomes unconditional, with Sky's listing on the London Stock Exchange set to be cancelled on November 7.

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