Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has submitted its latest bid to take over United Kingdom telecommunications company Sky at £10.75 (approximately Rs 912) a share, which brings the offer to $22 billion (approximately Rs 1.48 lakh crore), International Business Times reported. The multinational corporation currently holds 39% of Sky.
Sky declared the “agreement on a price” in a stock exchange announcement on Friday. “Certain material offer terms remain under discussion, and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made by 21st Century Fox, nor as to the terms of any such offer,” the statement read. UK’s Sky News is a subsidiary of Sky plc.
The offer indicates a 40% premium on Sky’s December 6 closing share price of £7.69 (Rs 652), the telecom company said. According to Sky officials, its independent directors would recommend Fox’s offer to shareholders after all the terms were finalised. The firm’s shares rose by 26.66% to £10 on Friday, after the news was announced.
Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians have called on the government to launch an inquiry into the deal, which they say was in public interest, The Guardian reported. Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox controls the controversial right-wing Fox News network in the United states, whereas Sky News is observed as a politically neutral service.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, who spoke against the “likely concentration of further media power in the hands of a single company”, said press regulator Ofcom and other competition agencies should investigate the matter to ensure the safety of media plurality, the report said.
Murdoch’s plans for a complete takeover of Sky were hindered after reports emerged that journalists of his News of the World daily had hacked into the voicemail of a teenager, who was murdered in 2002. The phone-hacking scandal made headlines in 2011.