Bidders cleared by Hancock

Bidding war for Sky after Comcast given go ahead

A takeover war for Sky edged closer after the government cleared the two rival bidders for the media company.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has cleared Comcast’s bid, and said Fox can go ahead if it sells Sky News.

Mr Hancock said he needed to be sure the rolling news channel remains “financially viable” over the long term and is able to take editorial decisions “free from any potential outside influence”.

Fox, which already owns 39% and is trying to take full control in a deal worth £11.7billion, has already proposed selling Sky News to Disney.

This would allay the concerns of the Competition and Markets Authority, which said the takeover was not in the public interest as it would give Murdoch, owner of newspapers including The Times and The Sun.

US cable giant Comcast has offered £12.50 per share, valuing the group at £22bn, considerably higher than Fox’s £10.75 offer which amounts to a valuation of £18bn.

Sky shares closed up 4p at 1354p, suggesting both bidders may have to raise their offers.



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