Sky PLC (LON:SKY) saw its shares bob higher on Tuesday as Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA), the victor at the weekend of a sealed-bid auction for the pay-TV firm revealed it now owns 30% of the FTSE 100-listed firm’s shares after making purchases in the market.
The crossing of the 30% threshold means that the US cable giant’s £30.6bn (US$40bn) bid for Sky now becomes mandatory, meaning the firm must offer to buy out other investors at its offer price of 1,728p per share.
Comcast’s bid beat a 1,567p a share offer from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOX) in the rare auction held over the weekend run by the UK Takeover Panel following an epic takeover battle which began with an initial approach from Fox in December 2016.
Fox holds a 39% stake in Sky, stemming from Murdoch’s role in its creation nearly three decades ago, which it is in the process of selling to Walt Disney Corp (NYSE:DIS) as part of a separate US$71bn deal to buy most of the firm’s film and TV assets,
Neither Fox nor Disney have said what they intend to do with the big Sky stake.
Comcast’s winning bid quickly received the backing of Sky’s independent directors on Saturday who urged shareholders to accept it immediately.
In a statement announcing the mandatory offer on Tuesday, Comcast said it would continue to make market purchases of Sky shares at the bid price.
In early afternoon trading on Tuesday, Sky shares were up 0.3% to 1,726p.