21st Century Fox changes up Sky acquisition approval scheme | Major Businesses | Business
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The battle for control of Sky is continuing to develop as 21st Century Fox has now eased restrictions on shareholder approval of its £14 ($18.23) per share buyout offer.
Sky 9 august 2018
In what is being seen by analysts as a savvy move, Fox has changed the merger conditions to a straight offer rather than a ‘scheme of arrangement’, which means that a deal could be approved with just 50% of Sky shareholders backing it. Given that Fox already owns 39% of the satellite behemoth, Fox only needs to convince 11% of the remaining outside stockholders.

The move comes after Fox made use of a loophole in UK law to buy time in what has become a showdown with Comcast. The US cable giant has a bigger offer on the table for Sky -- £14.75 ($19.21) per share -– and Fox was under deadline to top it by Thursday. Instead, the Rupert Murdoch-led company filed paperwork to formalise its existing offer, which under UK law gives Fox 46 days to modify its bid.

Meanwhile, Murdoch is stacking the deck: even though Comcast’s offer is larger (for now), it will need to convince 50% of non-Fox Sky shareholders to take its offer, rather than the much lower 11% threshold that Fox has now created for itself.