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UK regulator confirms Disney, Sky ruling

Disney CEO Bob Iger and Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox

The UK’s takeover regulator has confirmed its ruling that Disney may have to offer at least £14 (US$17.80) a share to buy European pay TV operator Sky.

The London-based Takeover Panel had initially set the £14 level on July 13 but has had to hold a number of hearings since then to review the possible mandatory offer following various appeals.

It has today confirmed the £14 a share possible mandatory offer, which Disney would only be forced to make if it completes its deal to buy various 21st Century Fox assets, including a 39% stake in Sky.

Fox itself is attempting to buy the remaining 61% of Sky that it does not already own but faces competition from Comcast, which last month dropped out of the bidding war with Disney for Fox.

Fox’s current offer remains the same as the one it made last month of £14 per share, while Comcast has tabled a counter bid of £14.75, valuing Sky at £26bn.

However, last week Fox filed papers that would allow it to make an increased bid for European pay TV operator Sky over the coming weeks in an effort to fight off Comcast.

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