Comcast lining up buyers for Fox sports assets

The offer is likely to be followed up by another from Comcast a rival bidder for Sky which screens hit shows such as Westworld

The offer is likely to be followed up by another from Comcast a rival bidder for Sky which screens hit shows such as Westworld

That is how Sky shareholders feel as Murdoch controlled 21st Century Fox raised the bidding once again for Sky, eclipsing USA cable network Comcast's £12.50 bid with an all cash offer of £14.

Earlier in the day, 21st Century Fox said it had a reached a deal to buy Sky that valued it at £24.5 billion, or about $32.5 billion.

A top Sky shareholder told Reuters that Comcast is expected to respond with a higher offer for the company.

Of course, there's still time for Comcast to make yet another counteroffer, forcing Disney to increase its bid once more.

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

The British government is expected to finally allow Fox, which is run by Rupert's son James, to buy Sky this week, after the USA group agreed to sell Sky's award-winning news channel to Disney to prevent Murdoch from owning too much of the British media.

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New York-listed 21CF raised its offer to 14 for each outstanding share, up substantially on a previous bid of 10.75.

Comcast tabled a proposal of £12.50 per share for Sky in February, and Sky's stock has traded consistently above the Comcast offer as investors anticipated Fox or Disney would come back with more.

Fox said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal.

"This transformative transaction will position Sky so that it can continue to compete within an environment that now includes some of the largest companies in the world", Fox said.

Fox is already Sky's biggest shareholder, with a 39.1% stake. Those assets include the Fox's Hollywood studios, content library, cable channels, worldwide networks, and a 39-percent stake in Sky.

"American consumers have benefitted from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox's cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher", said Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general and head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

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