Sky receives takeover approach from 21st Century Fox

UK satellite broadcaster Sky received a takeover approach today from 21st Century Fox, the American media giant.

Sky's shares surged on the news. Picture: Bill Henry

The proposed offer is worth £10.75p a share, a premium of 36 per cent to the closing price on Thursday night, and values Sky at some £25.3 billion. The proposal represents a premium of 40 per cent to the closing price on 6 December, being the last business day prior to the initial proposal being received from 21st Century Fox.

Sky said in a stock exchange statement: “After a period of negotiation, the independent directors of Sky and 21st Century Fox have reached agreement on an offer price of £10.75 per share in cash, less the value of any dividends subsequently paid by Sky (the ‘Proposal’).

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“However, certain material offer terms remain under discussion and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made by 21st Century Fox, nor as to the terms of any such offer.”

Shares in Sky jumped 30 per cent in late trading following the announcement.

Sky said it had formed an independent committee of the Board to consider the terms of the proposal.

The independent committee comprises Martin Gilbert, who is also chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, Andrew Sukawaty, Jeremy Darroch, Andrew Griffith, Tracy Clarke, Adine Grate, Matthieu Pigasse and Katrin Wehr-Seiter, “each of whom the board of the company considers to be free from conflicts of interest with regard to the proposal”.