Sky shares soar on Comcast takeover victory

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LONDON: Shares in British broadcaster Sky soared yesterday after US cable giant Comcast outgunned Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in a dramatic auction for the pan-European television operator. In midday deals, Sky shares surged 8.68 percent to £17.22 on London’s falling FTSE 100 index, after Comcast successfully bid £30.6 billion ($40 billion, 34 billion euros), or £17.28 per share in a blind auction held yesterday. Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky, had offered £15.67 per share to value the total group at £27.6 billion. Management at Sky has recommended that its shareholders “immediately” accept the Comcast bid, which it described as “an excellent outcome”. The heart-stopping auction drama marked a climax to a long-running battle for control of Europe´s biggest pay TV provider. “Sky shareholders are popping the champagne after this weekend´s bidding auction valued the company at eye watering levels,” said Interactive Investor analyst Rebecca O’Keeffe. —Agencies

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