Culture&Arts

Fox prepping $33B bid for Sky to fight off Comcast

Fox prepping $33B bid for Sky to fight off Comcast

Comcast, which made a $65 billion all-cash offer for the Fox assets last month only for Disney to raise its bid, is talking to private equity firms, including Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) and Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), to gauge interest about acquiring the RSNs, the sources said.

Fox could face further competition from the U.S. 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.

Fox has increased its bid by just over 30 percent since its first offer in December 2016.

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. The new bid values Sky at $32.5 billion. Murdoch has agreed to sell Fox's entertainment assets including its stake in Sky to Disney, though Comcast is weighing another counteroffer for the Fox portfolio.

The pursuit for Sky is meanwhile further complicated by a battle between Walt Disney and Comcast for key assets of 21st Century Fox.

More news: Aldi Could Let Staff Finish Early For World Cup Final

The world's biggest entertainment company and owner of NBC and Universal Pictures gate crashed Murdoch's bid for Sky in February. This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world, but none of whom have demonstrated the same local depth of investment and commitment to the United Kingdom and to Europe.

Disney secured conditional USA approval to buy the assets last month, giving it an edge over Comcast's bid.

Sky's independent directors accepted the latest Fox offer. Fox already owns about 39% of Sky. On Tuesday, he said he intends to announce his final decisions by tomorrow July 12.

Fox said Disney had given its consent to the additional debt Fox would take on and said that it would reimburse Fox by around 1 billion pounds if Fox succeeds in buying Sky at that price, but the Disney-Fox transaction falls through. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.