On Thursday, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) announced that it has reached a deal to buy the rest of SKY PLC (LON:SKY), which is a dominant European pay-TV firm, for £11.7 billion ($14.6 billion). The deal shows Rupert Murdoch’s goal to consolidate his television empire across Europe and America.
“Sky is much more than a satellite distribution company, it’s a creative, commercial and consumer powerhouse,” said James Murdoch, the chief executive of Fox and chairman of Sky. He said that Sky led to deliver premium content, such as “Game of Thrones” fantasy drama and English Premier League soccer, through platforms including broadband, mobile and satellite.
Fox would pay £10.75 per share for the 61% of Sky that it doesn’t own. However, the price Fox offered disappointed several top-50 shareholders, who said that Sky sells shares too cheaply, even though the price represents a premium of around 40% on the day before the initial proposal.
After the deal, Fox will able to control 22 million customers in Ireland, British, Germany, Austria and Italy, through the business. In addition, Fox would gain a distribution platform for its film studio and cable channels.
Fox said that the deal is expected to close before the end of 2017, and it would undertake $10 billion debt to fund the acquisition. Deutsche Bank, Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan acts as Fox’s advisors, while Morgan Stanley, PJT Partners and Barclays advised Sky.