The Committee said the US cablenet’s offer price of £17.28 represented an “excellent outcome for independent Sky shareholders”.
Shares in Sky surged by 8 per cent in early trading on the London Stock Exchange.
“We consider the Comcast Offer to be an excellent outcome for Sky shareholders, and we are recommending it as it represents materially superior value,” said Martin Gilbert, Chairman of the Independent Committee of Sky. “We are focused on drawing this process to a successful and swift close and therefore urge shareholders to accept the recommended Comcast Offer.”
Mo Hamza, senior analyst at Kagan, the TMT arm at S&P Global Market Intelligence said the deal was as much about distribution as content: “Sky represents a unique opportunity that is likely to be transformational for Comcast. The bold £17.28 bid highlights the potential for a strategic alignment between two pay TV giants with similar expansion ambitions and diversified asset investments in content ownership and distribution — Sky’s 119 TV networks in Europe and Comcast’s NBCUniversal Media LLC ownership — as well as technology including virtual reality, IP distribution, next-generation advertising and over-the-top video.”
Comcast’s £17.28 per share offer values the company at more than £30.45 billion. Rival Fox offered £15.67 per share.
The bids came in a three-round auction on Saturday evening orchestrated by the Takeover Panel, which saw no movement in the battle to takeover the broadcaster.