Disney Must Make Offer to Buy All of Sky If Fox’s Own Deal Falls Through

Unless Comcast buys U.K. company first, that is

Last Updated: April 12, 2018 @ 6:58 AM

Should Fox’s deal to purchase Sky PLC fall through but Disney’s acquisition of Fox consummate, Disney is required to make a mandatory offer for all of Sky, a U.K. takeover panel has ruled. That is, unless Comcast or another third party acquires a majority stake in Sky beforehand.

The Mouse House will have 28 days within the close of its $52.4 billion acquisition of much of Fox’s movie and TV business to make an offer for Sky, the panel said, adding that the offer must be at £10.75 (or $15.26) in cash for each ordinary share in Sky.

Look familiar? That was the price per share at which Fox announced a recommended pre-conditional cash offer for Sky on December 15, 2016.

“The basis for this ruling is… securing control of Sky might reasonably be considered to be a significant purpose of Disney’s acquiring control of Fox,” per the panel’s statement.

Disney, Fox and Sky have each accepted these rulings, the takeover panel said.

Fox, which already owns a portion of Sky, has been trying to buy the whole thing for a while now. In late February, however, Comcast swooped in with a $31 billion offer for the European media giant.

Disney’s acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox’s assets (save news, sports and the broadcast network, basically) is expected to close within about a year.