Fox President Expects Disney Acquisition To Be Complete by Summer 2019

CREDIT Courtesy of Disney  Pixar

The Takeover Panel also ruled that Disney would have to match Fox's £10.75 (Dh56.03) a share offer for the Sky stocks, which is the same offered by Fox for the company stocks which it doesn't already hold.

The Takeover Panel said that it considers that securing control of Sky might reasonably be considered to be a significant objective of Disney's acquiring control of Fox assets.

"21CF remains committed to its recommended cash offer for Sky announced on 15th December 2016, which is supported by revised remedies recently offered to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) with whom 21CF has been co-operating in order to bring the United Kingdom regulatory process to a swift and satisfactory conclusion", Fox said in a statement.

It means that even if Fox's plans to take over Sky are blocked as a result of an investigation by competition regulators, Disney would still have to offer Sky's shareholders a deal at the same price of 1075p per share. Comcast in February said that it was considering making an offer for Sky.

Sky shares were mostly unchanged at 1,311 pence as of 11:41am in London.

Although the deal was approved by European authorities, it was derailed by Britain's competition watchdog, who said in January that it is not in the public interest as it would give the global media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family "too much control" over the country's media.

Disney in December had announced its agreement to buy a large part of Fox, including the Twentieth Century Fox movie and televison studio, cable channels including regional sports networks and key worldwide properties, including the stake in Sky. Earlier in the month, the company proposed two remedies to address plurality concerns voiced by United Kingdom mergers regulator the Competition & Markets Authority.

Fox separately has agreed to sell its 39% stake in Sky to Disney as part of the deal to sell to Disney all its film and television entertainment assets. Rice said the new company will probably just be called "Fox".

The new regulatory requirement adds yet another wrinkle to an already complicated acquisition process that involves Disney, Fox, Sky and Comcast.

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