Published: Sat, December 10, 2016
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

Sky to go to 21st Century Fox?

Sky to go to 21st Century Fox?

European pay-TV broadcaster Sky said Friday it has received an informal takeover approach from U.S. media-entertainment giant 21st Century Fox which values it at £18.5 billion ($23.4 billion, 21.8 billion euros).

The deal has been agreed by the independent directors of both company's boards though other elements of the deal remain under discussion, and Sky has said there is "no certainty" a formal offer will be made.

21st Century Fox reached an agreement to pay $14 billion for the stake in European satellite TV operator Sky PLC that it doesn't already own, Sky TV announced. Stock of 21st Century Fox fell more than 3 percent in afternoon trading in NY.

The price represents a premium of 40 percent from Sky's closing share price level on Tuesday, which was the day before the initial proposal was made.

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Murdoch had previously tried to take full control of Sky but was sidelined in 2011 amid a phone-hacking scandal at his British newspapers that rocked the United Kingdom political and media establishment.

Taking control of Sky gives 21st Century Fox, which owns cable networks Fox News, FX and the Fox broadcast channel and a major Hollywood film studio, a distributor in Europe.

The media baron's younger son, James Murdoch, was Sky chairman from 2007 to 2012, but was forced to step down because of the scandal.

Sky's shares soared by 30 percent on the London Stock Exchange following the announcement on Friday. Stock of 21st Century Fox fell 3.4 percent to $27.67 in afternoon trading in the U.S.

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