There was yet another twist in the long-running takeover saga for Sky PLC (LON:SKY) on Friday.
The UK Takeover Panel ruled that The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) would need to make a minimum bid of 1,400p per share for Sky if it succeeds in its bid to buy Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX), which owns a 39% stake in the satellite broadcaster and is in a bid battle with Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) for the UK firm.
On Thursday, the UK government formally approved Fox’s bid for the FTSE 100-listed firm which it had conditional approved last month, as long as Sky News is sold off to a “suitable third party”.
That clearance followed Fox’s move on Wednesday to up its offer for Sky to 1,400p a share, well above its initial 1,075p per share agreed bid launched in December 2016 before the company got embroiled in a takeover probe.
That increased offer was trumped later the same day by a raised bid of 1,475p a share from Comcast which Sky’s independent directors said they would recommend to shareholders, having previously backed Fox’s increased offer.
Sky plans to request that the Takeover Panel’s hearings committee be convened in order to review this ruling, while Disney and Fox are considering their positions, the Panel said in a statement.