LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — 21st Century Fox announced that it plans to sell its 39% stake in Britain’s cable television giant Sky plc to Comcast Corp., ending a long-running takeover battle for the network and ceding control the network to the American cable television giant.
The Comcast’s offer for Fox’s existing stake in Sky values the outstanding shares at approximately $15 billion.
Disney, who had previously announced plans to purchase the media assets of Fox for around $71.3 billion, said it agreed to the terms of the sale and would use proceeds from the sale of Sky, which is valued at around $15 billion to pay down debt.
“Along with the net proceeds from the divestiture of the (regional sports networks), the sale of Fox’s Sky holdings will substantially reduce the cost of our overall acquisition and allow us to aggressively invest in building and creating high-quality content for our direct-to-consumer platforms to meet the growing demands of viewers,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger.
“Disney will expand its considerable investment in the Disney-branded direct-to-consumer offering launching in late 2019 and the new ESPN+ sports streaming service, and will seek to increase investment in Hulu’s content offerings and international distribution. Disney and 21st Century Fox each currently hold 30% stakes in Hulu,” the company said.
Headquartered in London, Sky plc is Europe’s largest pay-TV broadcaster, with more than 20 million subscribers. The company has operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain and its assets include the Arena Racing Company as well as a stake in Nickelodeon UK.