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Will there be a bidding war for Sky?
The market appears to be pricing in a bid battle for pay-TV business Sky (SKY) with the shares trading above the £12.50 per share cash bid from US firm Comcast announced on 27 February.
This offer trumps the £10.75 per share on offer from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, a deal which was recommended by Sky’s board more than a year ago but has been mired in regulatory issues ever since.
The appeal of Sky’s leading TV assets in the UK, Italy and Germany is reflected in the fact Disney is in the process of acquiring Fox’s media businesses, including its existing 39% stake in Sky.
Comcast, which owns NBC and Universal, is unlikely to face the same levels of political scrutiny as Fox has, given that unlike Murdoch it does not own several other media assets in the UK and nor has it been hit by any big scandals.
The question for investors as we write is: will Fox counter bid? If it does, any offer will be conditional on the takeover being approved by culture secretary Matt Hancock when he delivers his verdict in late May/early June.