Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox is unlikely to offer any new concessions to protect the editorial independence of Sky (LON:SKY), Reuters has reported. The lack of remedies over the $15-billion deal is seen as increasing the chance that the takeover goes to a lengthy investigation.
Sky’s share price has lost ground in London this morning, having shed 0.72 percent to 968.00p as of 08:41 BST, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently 0.08 percent worse off at 7,407.76 points. The group’s shares have added more than 11 percent to their value over the past year, and are down by a little over two percent in the year-to-date.
A person familiar with the matter told Reuters last night that Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox was unlikely to offer any new concessions to the editorial independence of Sky's 24-hour TV news channel, Sky News, opting instead to let the competition watchdog examine the deal.
The news comes after UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley recently told lawmakers that she was ‘minded to’ refer Fox’s takeover of Sky to a more detailed Phase II competition investigation on the grounds of media plurality. Murdoch also owns the Sun and Times newspapers in the UK.
Fox has said that any referral for an in-depth probe could mean the deal would not close before next June.
The 16 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Sky for the Financial Times have a median target of 1,075.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 1,350.00p and a low estimate of 400.00p. As of July 7, the consensus forecast amongst 18 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group has it that the company will outperform the market.