LONDON – Global media and technology company Comcast Corporation made on Tuesday a takeover bid for the United Kingdom broadcaster Sky UK totaling 22 billion pounds sterling ($31 billion) in an attempt to rival and outdo a previous offer made by Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of media giant 21st Century Fox.
According to a statement by Comcast, the corporation offered a cash proposal of 12.50 pounds per share, 16 percent higher than Murdoch, who founded precursor company Sky Television and currently owns 39 percent of Sky UK’s shares.
“We think Sky is an outstanding company,” Comcast said in a statement. “It has 23 million customers, leading positions in the UK, Italy and Germany, and is a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver its customers a great experience.”
The company said it intended to maintain and enhance Sky’s existing businesses and that adding them to the Comcast portfolio of would increase its international revenues from 9 percent to 25 percent.
“Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for growth in Europe. We already have a strong presence in London through our NBC Universal international operations, and we intend to maintain Sky’s UK headquarters,” said Comcast’s chairman and CEO, Brian L. Roberts.
Comcast, a major internet and cable television provider in the US and owner of the NBC broadcast channels, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, said that despite its international operation in the UK it did not believe the takeover of Sky would affect the mix of media viewpoints in the UK.
The statement added that Comcast would maintain its “support for high broadcasting standards and news impartiality.”
Fox had wanted to take full control of Sky, making a proposal in December 2016, but regulatory issues held back the process.