Some share­hold­ers un­happy over terms of Sky bid

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Some share­hold­ers are un­happy about the terms of a pre­lim­i­nary deal struck by Rupert Mur­doch’s Twenty-First Cen­tury Fox to take over British pay-TV Sky, the Sun­day Tele­graph news­pa­per re­ported. On Fri­day, Mur­doch’s Fox pro­posed 10.75 pounds ($13.52) a share in cash, backed by Sky’s in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors, in its sec­ond at­tempt to buy the 61 per­cent of the firm which it does not cur­rently own.

But some share­hold­ers are dis­ap­pointed that the in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors have not pushed to bet­ter the $14 bil­lion bid which would give Fox con­trol of a pay-TV net­work span­ning 22 mil­lion house­holds in Bri­tain, Ire­land, Aus­tria, Ger­many and Italy. It “ought to be the start of the process, not the con­clu­sion,” Alas­tair Gunn, a fund man­ager at Jupiter As­set Man­age­ment was quoted as say­ing by the Sun­day Tele­graph News­pa­per. The firm was not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment when con­tacted by Reuters yes­ter­day. An un­named share­holder was quoted by the pa­per as say­ing: “Our ini­tial re­ac­tion is one of se­ri­ous dis­ap­point­ment that they have rolled over like this.” An­a­lysts at Citi char­ac­terised the of­fer as a “low-ball bid,” cit­ing a fair value as­sess­ment of 13.50 pounds per share.

Peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter have told Reuters that Fox had pounced af­ter Bri­tain’s vote to leave the Euro­pean Union in June sent the pound down about 14 per­cent against the US dol­lar and Sky’s share price tum­bling.

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