Some shareholders unhappy over terms of Sky bid
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.