Broadcaster Sky and 21st Century Fox have finalised an agreement on the terms of a takeover deal, BBC reports.
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox will pay £11.7bn for the 61% stake it does not already own. Sky shareholders will receive £10.75 in cash for each share, valuing the company at £18.5bn.
The deal comes amid concerns that Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Sun and the Times newspapers, will have excessive influence over UK media.
It was learnt that some investors are displeased that the bid undervalues the satellite broadcaster and had called on the independent directors to extract a higher offer.
21st Century Fox plans to take over the remaining stake in Sky through a scheme of arrangement, which means it needs the approval of investors holding 75% of shares in issue.
Martin Gilbert, deputy chairman of Sky and chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, which owns a 0.39% stake in the broadcaster, said: “We believe 21st Century Fox’s offer at a 40 per cent premium to the undisturbed share price will accelerate and de-risk the delivery of future value for all Sky shareholders.
As a result, the independent committee unanimously agreed that we have a proposal that we can put to Sky shareholders and recommend.”
Sky has 22 million customers in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria. Mr Murdoch’s son James is both chairman of Sky and chief executive of Fox.
In 2011, Rupert Murdoch abandoned a bid to take full control of Sky in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.