Comcast outbids Fox to acquire Sky in £30BN deal

Comcast CorporationThe Comcast Corporation is to acquire Sky after an unusual blind bidding auction moderated by the UK Takeover Panel saw their offer of £17.28 per share overshadow Fox’s £15.67 rival offer, for a total of £30.6 billion in cash for the entire issued and to be issued Sky share capital. The bid has already been accepted by Sky’s independent directors and shareholders now have until 11 October to decide whether to accept the recommended offer.

The acquisition ends a two-year bidding war and follows Comcast’s unsuccessful attempt to take over Fox in June, when it lost out to Disney. Sky has 26 million customers across Europe, and has backed the production of shows for Amazon, HBO and Showtime. It’s also well known for its sports broadcasting, such as its Premier League channel. Comcast will soon have a much larger international presence in these fields.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s group chief executive, said: “As part of a broader Comcast we believe we will be able to continue to grow and strengthen our position as Europe’s leading direct to consumer media company. Today’s outcome is down to the hard work of tens of thousands of people who have built and developed this business together over the last 30 years. Sky has never stood still, and with Comcast our momentum will only increase.”

USA, Philadelphia, PA & UK, London


FPE Capital LLP acquires a majority stake of IWSR

IWSRFPE Capital LLP has acquired a majority stake supporting the MBO of the IWSR, which owns and operates the world’s largest database on the beverage alcohol market. The IWSR management team is led by CEO Mark Meek. Mark has worked in the business information sector for over 20 years and was formerly CEO of Datamonitor and Progressive Digital Media.

IWSR is headquartered in London and has a US office in New York. Over the last 40 years the company has built up the world’s largest database on the beverage alcohol market, covering market, category and brand performance in 157 countries.

At completion, Neil Smith joined the business as non-executive Chairman. Neil was formerly Group COO of Wilmington plc and has over 25 years’ experience as a founder, director, advisor and investor in information businesses.

David Barbour, Managing Partner at FPE, commented: “We are delighted to be backing Mark Meek and his team in the management buyout of IWSR. Mark has driven significant growth at IWSR since becoming CEO four years ago and we look forward to partnering with him and the team for their next phase of growth. We will build on the excellent reputation of the business and its unique market leading data to ensure this remains a leading global supplier to the drinks industry and grows to service the new markets and products in this sector. We are delighted that the founding Smith family will continue to be represented within the business by Alastair Smith who continues in his role as Director, and will have a shareholding in the business.”

UK, London