LONDON (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox (FOXA.O) said it had agreed a deal to buy Britain’s Sky (SKYB.L) with an offer valuing the pay-TV group at $32.5 billion, trumping rival bidder Comcast (CMCSA.O).
Fox, which is expecting to get regulatory approval from Britain this week after striking an initial deal with Sky in December 2016, upped its offer to 14 pounds per share, from its earlier 10.75 pounds per share.
The price agreed, which represents an 82 percent premium to the price of Sky’s shares in December 2016 before Fox’s initial offer, is at a multiple of 21 times 2017 earnings per share, Fox said.
But Fox may still face further competition from U.S. cable giant Comcast which submitted its own bid for Sky in February, valuing the pan European group at 12.50 pounds per share. Sky’s shares closed at 15.01 pounds on Tuesday, meaning shareholders may also not like the price.
Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky, said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal.
Reporting by Kate Holton and Paul Sandle; editing by Guy Faulconbridge