UK regulator, The Takeover Panel, has announced details of the auction that will take place that will settle if Fox or Comcast will buy European communications and entertainment provider Sky.
- The auction will begin on September 21 at 5pm London Time (9am Pacific Time)
- The auction will last a maximum of three rounds
- On the first round, Fox (in concert with Disney), can make an increased bid
- In the second round, Comcast can make an increased bid, even if Fox does not increase their bid.
- If the auction goes to a third round, both Comcast and Fox can make an increased bid
- Both Comcast and Fox can only make an offer in a fixed cash price (in pounds sterling). No other forms of compensation, such as stock, are allowed
- After the auction is complete, the Takeover Panel will announce the prices offered by both Comcast and Fox.
- Comcast and Fox must make an announcement regarding their bids by the morning of September 24 (London Time)
- An offer document must be made before September 27, 2018
- October 11, 2018 is the last day the offers can become or can be declared unconditional as to acceptances.
- It is possible, the auction could end with both Comcast and Fox offering the same price
- Sky, Comcast, Fox, and The Walt Disney Company have agreed to the terms of the auction
Things to Remember:
- Disney will own the 39 percent of Sky which Fox already owns, regardless of the auction results
- Fox must get approval from Disney for any increased offer
- Bob Iger has called Sky “a crown jewel” of 21st Century Fox
How We Got Here:
- December 15, 2016: Fox announced its intention to purchase the shares of Sky it did not own at a price of 10.75 pounds. This deal was held up by regulatory concerns regarding Sky News and the Murdoch Family
- February 27, 2018: Comcast announced it was considering a bid for Sky
- April 25, 2018: Comcast announced an offer of 12.50 pounds per share
- July 11, 2018: Fox announced an offer of 14 pounds per share. Later that same day, Comcast increased their bid to 14.75 pounds per share