21st Century Fox said Wednesday that it has reached a new deal to buy Sky that values the UK broadcaster around £24.5 billion ($32.5 billion).
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox ( is in a bidding war for Sky with )Comcast (, which launched an offer for the UK company in April. The contest is part of a wider fight between )Disney ( and Comcast to take over a large chunk of Fox. )
Fox’s new bid for Sky ( of £14 ($18.60) per share is 12% higher than Comcast’s. It’s also a 30% increase on Fox’s original bid in December 2016. )
Sky’s independent committee has agreed to the new offer, the companies said in a statement.
Fox, which already owns about 39% of Sky, has been navigating a lengthy process to secure approval from British media regulators for its bid — and that saga isn’t quite over.
It’s still awaiting final green light from the British government, which is expected to come this week.
Last month, UK government officials said the deal can proceed if Fox sells Sky News to an appropriate third party. Regulators have expressed concern that Fox’s ownership of Sky News would give Murdoch and his family too much influence over UK media.
It’s also possible that Comcast could come back with an even bigger bid for Sky.
Shares in Sky were trading around £14.80 ($19.65) on Wednesday morning in London, suggesting investors are hoping for a higher offer.
Sky is an attractive asset to US media companies that are looking to expand their operations to Europe and to compete with upstarts like Netflix ( and )Amazon (. It’s a leader in pay TV in the United Kingdom and other markets including Germany and Italy. It also sells broadband and mobile phone services. )
— Hadas Gold contributed to this report.
CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First published July 11, 2018: 3:01 AM ET