Fox Decides to Ditch Its Stake in Sky for $15 Billion

Rupert Murdoch's three-decade reign at Sky TV is to end after his company 21st Century Fox announced it would sell all of its shares in the British broadcaster to the United States media firm Comcast.

On Saturday evening, Comcast won the long-running battle for control of the broadcaster, beating Fox's £15.67 per share offer after the auction went to the maximum three rounds.

The move lets Fox focus on another megadeal underway: The majority of the company will be sold to Walt Disney Co.in a $US71 billion ($98 billion) transaction that's slated to close next year.

Fox had previously agreed to sell the stake in Sky to Walt Disney as part of a separate deal.

Comcast and Disney had been in a bidding war for the Fox assets, which include the Fox studios in Hollywood and important film and television production operations.

Disney, which has struck a deal to buy a raft of Fox assets including the stake in Sky, said it had given Fox its approval to sell.

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The US media company's final bid was £17.28 ($22.65) per share, valuing Sky at £30.6 billion ($40.1 billion).

21st Century Fox said it was "considering options" regarding their share in Sky following Comcast's winning bid. "Today, Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company and a world-class example of a customer-driven enterprise".

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

21st Century Fox is the parent company of FOX Business and Fox News.

'On behalf of all our employees I would also like to thank James for his chairmanship as we have transformed Sky over the past decade.

Rupert Murdoch is officially walking away from Sky Plc, the satellite broadcaster he helped build over three decades, marking the end of an era for both the billionaire and United Kingdom media. Disney had been expected to use its Sky holdings as leverage for some Comcast assets, such as Comcast's stake in Hulu.

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