LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. cable company Comcast Corp submitted a 22 billion pound ($31 billion) offer for pay-TV group Sky (SKYB.L) on Wednesday, challenging an already agreed but lower takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (FOXA.O).
Comcast, which first outlined an offer at the same 12.50 pounds-a-share price in February, said it would continue to engage with the Sky’s independent directors with a view to obtaining a recommendation for its deal.
Twenty-First Century Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky, said it remained committed to its recommended cash offer for Sky announced on 15 Dec. 2016, and was currently considering its options.
“A further announcement will be made in due course,” it said.
Fox’s 10.75 pounds-a-share deal has been held up to scrutiny by regulators, who have concerns about the influence Murdcoh could wield through owning all of the broadcaster as well as his British newspapers.
In the meantime, Fox has agreed to sell many of its TV and film assets to Walt Disney (DIS.N), including its stake in Sky.
Comcast, the owner of NBC and Universal Pictures, said it was delighted to be formalising its offer.
“We have long believed Sky is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Brian L. Roberts.
“Sky has a strong business, excellent customer loyalty, and a valued brand.”
Shares in Sky were trading up 3 percent at 13.46 pounds at 1026 GMT.