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

Sky PLC logo

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.