21st Century Fox makes £11.7bn firm offer for Sky

21st-century-foxRupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and Sky have reached agreement on the terms of a cash offer by 21st Century Fox for the fully diluted share capital of Sky which 21st Century Fox and its Affiliates do not already own.

The £10.75-a-share all cash offer for the 61 per cent of Sky that the US media group does not already own values the group at £18.5bn, and will cost Fox £11.7bn.

The offer is a multiple of approximately 11.4 times Sky Adjusted EBITDA of £2,178 million for the twelve month period ended 30 June 2016.

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21st Century Fox said:

As the founding shareholder of Sky, we are proud to have participated in its growth and development. The strategic rationale for this combination is clear.  It creates a global leader in content creation and distribution, enhances our sports and entertainment scale, and gives us unique and leading direct-to-consumer capabilities and technologies. It adds the strength of the Sky brand to our portfolio, including the Fox, National Geographic and Star brands.”

“Sky is a creative, commercial, and consumer powerhouse delivering its own content to customers across all platforms. Sky is the #1 PayTV brand in all its key markets, with an exciting growth runway in each. The enhanced capabilities of the combined company will be underpinned by a more geographically diverse and stable revenue base.  It will also create an improved balance between subscription, affiliate fee, advertising and content revenues. This combination creates an agile organization that is equipped to better succeed in a global market.

Martin Gilbert, Deputy Chairman of Sky said:

I am enormously proud that Sky is the number one premium pay TV provider in all its markets and is recognised as a world leading direct-to-consumer business. On top of this, the business has an outstanding track record of growth and has delivered substantial value for its shareholders over many years.

The Independent Committee, which was formed with the express purpose of protecting independent shareholders’ interests in relation to the proposal from 21st Century Fox, has given full consideration to the fundamental value and prospects for the Sky Group.

While the Independent Committee remains confident in Sky’s long-term prospects, as laid out in detail at our recent investor day in October, we, supported by our advisers, believe 21st Century Fox’s offer at a 40 per cent. premium to the undisturbed share price will accelerate and de-risk the delivery of future value for all Sky Shareholders. As a result, the Independent Committee unanimously agreed that we have a proposal that we can put to Sky shareholders and recommend.

The Independent Committee also notes 21st Century Fox’s track record in growing businesses and its ability to continue the development of Sky across Europe, in a world where entertainment and distribution are converging. 21st Century Fox’s ownership will support the delivery of Sky’s strategy and long-term growth, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of Europe’s creative industries.”

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp abandoned its last bid for Sky in 2011 after it was revealed that journalists at the News of the World had hacked the phone of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

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