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Just a day ahead of a final decision by British regulators to approve sale, 21st Century Fox, Inc early Wednesday raised its offer on media giant Sky Plc to $32.5 billion, making it the likely winner in a bidding contest with Comcast.
The offer, £24.5 billion, represents a price of £14.00 per share, up from Fox’s previous offer of £10.00.
Fox already owns 39 percent of Sky and aims to own the whole company outright. Fox’s new bid is a full 12 percent higher than the most recent offer by Comcast, $31 billion made earlier this year. The UK government approved Comcast’s offer in June, with Matt Hancock, then-secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, saying at the time that “the proposed merger does not raise public interest concerns.”
However, Fox was given the go-ahead to continue efforts to purchase Sky as well, on the condition that Fox sell off Sky’s 24-hour news channel to Disney in the planned sale of certain Fox film and television assets to the mouse house. Disney has pledged a 15-year, $2 billion commitment to fund Sky News if it acquires the channel in the Fox deal.
Hancock, meanwhile, resigned amid a British cabinet shakeup this week, and has been replaced in his role by Jeremy Wright.
According to Bloomberg, the British Government has already signaled willingness to approve Fox’s offer, with its final decision due Thursday.