Fox will sell its Sky stake to Comcast

Twenty-First Century Fox agreed to sell its stake in Sky to Comcast, securing the US cable group’s $40 billion takeover of its European peer and ending Rupert Murdoch’s relationship with the UK-based broadcaster.

Comcast outbid Fox in an auction to take control of pay-TV group Sky on Saturday, with an offer price which valued Fox’s 39 percent stake at 11.63 billion pounds ($15.31 billion).

Fox had previously agreed to sell the stake in Sky to Walt Disney as part of a separate deal.

Disney said on Wednesday it had given consent to Fox’s decision.

Disney said the sale of the stake, coupled with the divestiture of the Fox Sports Regional Networks, would reduce the amount of debt it will incur in buying the Fox assets and help it invest in its Disney-branded direct-to-consumer offering launching late next year.

The sale in effect guarantees Comcast’s takeover of Sky.

Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “Nearly 30 years ago Rupert Murdoch took a risk to launch Sky and in the process changed the way we watch television forever.

“With 21CF announcing its intention to sell its shares to Comcast we close one chapter while simultaneously opening another.”

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