Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox widens footprint with Sky buy


LONDON: Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox on Thursday sealed a $14.8 billion (14-billion-euro) cash deal for control of European pay-TV giant Sky, expanding the footprint of the media-entertainment powerhouse.

Fox said it had reached a formal agreement to buy the 61 percent stake in Sky that it does not already own.

The deal valuing Sky at £18.5 billion comes five years after Australian-born media mogul Murdoch failed to clinch a takeover after a notorious phone-hacking scandal at his newspaper empire.

“We’ve been clear that partial ownership of Sky was not a natural end state for us,” Lachlan Murdoch, who shares the title of executive chairman with his father Rupert, said in a conference call.

“Given our long history with the company and how much Sky has grown its production and distribution businesses, which fit into and complement our core competencies, fully combining the business is a clear, logical next step in our portfolio evolution.”

The company said the deal “creates a global leader in content creation and distribution, enhances our sports and entertainment scale, and gives us unique and leading direct-to-consumer capabilities and technologies.”



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