Comcast shares news: Fox agrees to sell its Sky stake to the US media firm

Written by: Ilona Billington
September 27, 2018

Comcast shares closed a little lower in the US Wednesday, but are higher pre-market after 21st Century Fox said it will sell its entire stake in Sky to its US media rival. The deal will cost Comcast around $15 billion and give Comcast complete control of the prized UK asset.

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Comcast shares ended the US Wednesday trading session 0.09% lower at $35.37. However, the stock is currently a touch in the green in pre-market moves. Fox shares, meanwhile, rose 1.02% to close at $45.67. The stock is also higher in out-of-hours activity.

Fox offers 39% Sky stake to Comcast

Fox issued a statement Wednesday, in which it confirmed it would sell its 39% stake in Sky to comcast at the price of £17.28 per share. That gives its shares a more than $15 billion price tag that will give Comcast total control over the European pay TV business.

“In light of the premium Comcast has agreed to pay for Sky, we and Disney have decided to sell 21CF’s existing 39% holding in Sky to Comcast,” 21st Century Fox said. “We congratulate Comcast on their pending acquisition.”

“We are proud of the role our company has played in building Sky, and of the outstanding value we have delivered for shareholders of 21CF and Sky, and customers across Europe,” the US media firm added.

Comcast’s successful Sky purchase

While Comcast is now the clear victor in the battle for Sky, it took a long summer of work, bids and counter bids, before the US media business finally tabled a superior offer for the UK-based Pay TV firm, in a rare auction.

However, by securing Sky, Comcast will grow its direct customer base to some 53 million around the world. That’s a prize the business simply wasn’t willing to forgo.

Sky, meanwhile, signalled this was a new chapter in its history.

“Nearly 30 years ago Rupert Murdoch took a risk to launch Sky and in the process changed the way we watch television forever,” said Sky's Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch.

“With 21CF announcing its intention to sell its shares to Comcast we close one chapter while simultaneously opening another,” Darroch said.