Comcast's $40 billion Sky takeover becomes unconditional

James Murdoch smiles for the camera

The lease is understood to be at least five years, which would take it up to the end of what was being spoken about as Team Sky's "secured funding cycle" of 2024.

The US giant just needed Fox's share sale to go through before it could officially announce its acquisition of Sky - it received confirmation of its purchase of the assets today.

Fox's overlapping offer to acquire Sky had lapsed, Sky noted yesterday, recommending anyone who hadn't yet accepted Comcast's offer do so immediately.

US cable company Comcast (CMCSA.O) took control of Sky on Tuesday after it acquired the 39 percent of the company owned by Twenty-First Century Fox, the rival it defeated with a $40 billion knock-out bid for the European pay-TV group last month.

Comcast said it will give 14 days to settle consideration on its mandatory offer, and if the company hits 90 percent acceptance of its offer for Sky shares, the cable giant will use a regulatory provision "to acquire compulsorily any Sky Shares not acquired or agreed to be acquired by or on behalf of Comcast Bidco pursuant to the mandatory offer".

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Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive of Sky, added: "Comcast has committed to investment in Sky, including our Osterley and European headquarters, and we very much look forward to working with Brian and the Comcast team to achieve further growth and development of Sky's business". The latter's highest bid was only $31 billion.

Analysts with the New Street research firm said Comcast would have done it better if they walked away from the bidding when it reached $40 billion. He told CNBC that if ever the deal would not align with Comcast's goal of expanding beyond their American viewers, then it could be an "absolute PR disaster" for the company.

For the meantime, Comcast's major advantage in the deal is having rights over live sports content and other news content as it now has revenue channeled from NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, and Euronews.

United Kingdom culture minister Jeremey Wright had urged Comcast to ensure the independence of Sky News.

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