(RTTNews.com) - 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) said that it intends to either accept the recommended revised cash offer by Comcast Corp. (CMCSK, CMCSA) for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Sky plc (BSY.L, SKY.L) at a price of 17.28 pounds for each Sky share in respect of the 21CF's existing stake or sell 21CF's existing stake to Comcast at the Comcast Offer price.
21st Century Fox noted that Disney has consented to 21CF's decision to either accept the Comcast Offer in respect of 21CF's existing stake or sell its existing stake to Comcast. The Comcast Offer values 21CF's existing shareholding in Sky of 672.78 million Sky Shares at 11.6 billion pounds or more than US$15 billion at current value.
21st Century Fox said, "In light of the premium Comcast has agreed to pay for Sky, we and Disney have decided to sell 21CF's existing 39% holding in Sky to Comcast. We congratulate Comcast on their pending acquisition."
Separately, Walt Disney Company (DIS) confirmed that it has consented to Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.'s decision to tender or sell its 39% stake in Sky plc as soon as allowable under terms of Comcast Corp.'s Â£17.28 per share offer for Sky. The current value of Fox's Sky stake is more than $15 billion.
The transaction, coupled with the divestiture of the Fox Sports Regional Networks, will significantly reduce the amount of debt Disney will incur in acquiring 21st Century Fox, and enable Disney to maintain its strong balance sheet as it continues to invest in content creation for its direct-to-consumer platforms.
Disney noted that it will expand its considerable investment in the Disney-branded direct-to-consumer offering launching in late 2019 and the new ESPN+ sports streaming service, and will seek to increase investment in Hulu's content offerings and international distribution. Disney and 21st Century Fox each currently hold 30% stakes in Hulu.
The acquisition has received formal approval from shareholders of both companies, and Disney and 21st Century Fox have entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice that allows the acquisition to proceed, while requiring the sale of the Fox Sports Regional Networks. The transaction is subject to a number of non-U.S. merger and other regulatory reviews.
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