Comcast increases Sky offer to £14.75 per share

Disney Fox Deal Faces Lawsuit From Fox Shareholder

Fox could face further competition from the USA cable giant Comcast, however, after it forced Sky's independent directors to drop their previous backing for Fox with an unexpected £12.50-a-share bid for the group in February.

Britain's former Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, who was replaced on Monday night with Jeremy Wright in a cabinet shakeup, had said he was willing to let the takeover go ahead, provided Fox sold Sky's 24-hour news channel to Disney. Sky's shares closed at £15.01 on Tuesday, suggesting shareholders think the battle is not over.

Sky has become a pawn in a much larger struggle between Comcast and Disney (DIS), which are locked in a bidding war for most of Fox, including its existing stake in Sky. It's said that the new $38-a-share price is about $10 a share higher than the original offer from Disney back in December, and it's also $3 above Comcast's most recent bid. Its board had previously approved Fox's takeover of the company, but withdrew that blessing after Comcast unveiled its counteroffer in April.

The world's biggest entertainment company and owner of NBC and Universal Pictures gate-crashed Murdoch's bid for Sky in February.

U.S. to list tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese products
The first round of tariffs covered Chinese products ranging from farming plows to machine tools and communications satellites. Analysts say a full-blown trade war with China could wound the U.S.in several ways.

However, completion of the Sky acquisition is not a condition to completion of the Disney deal, nor will it affect the amount or form of consideration that stockholders of 21CF receive in the Disney transaction, Fox said.

Should Disney succeed, it will obtain Fox's 39 per cent stake in Sky as part of the package.

"Disney's internal forecasts now, on the basis of the cash flows they've published for Sky, would value it at 16 pounds", he said.

Both Comcast and Disney have indicated that they would divest Fox's 22 regional sports networks in order to gain approval for their respective deals. A month after 21st Century Fox had accepted the House of Mouse's $71.3 billion bid to acquire its film studio and TV assets, an impending lawsuit from a Fox shareholder could bring proceedings to another halt.

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