21st Century Fox, che fa parte della galassia dei media di Rupert Murdoch, ha formalmente dato avvio al secondo tentativo di rilevare la britannica Sky. Come si legge in una nota, la società ha offerto 10,75 sterline per azione in contante per la quota del 61% che non possiede già. La cifra messa sul piatto, che supera del 40% il valore di chiusura del 6 dicembre, il giorno prima della proposta preliminare, valuta la quota che Fox non controlla a circa 14 miliardi di dollari e l'intera società a circa 23 miliardi di dollari.
Il prezzo offerto è invariato rispetto ai termini dell'accordo resi noti in precedenza, ma Fox ha fatto sapere che l'acquisto dovrebbe avvenire tramite un cosidetto «scheme of arrangement», un concordato tra società e azionisti o creditori e previsto dalla normativa britannica. In particolare, questo tipo di accordo consente alla società che compra di arrivare più rapidamente al 100% del gruppo acquisito. Fox vorrebbe completare l'operazione entro la fine dell'anno prossimo, ma se la chiusura non arrivasse entro il 31 dicembre 2017 gli azionisti di Sky riceverebbero un dividendo spaciale di 10 centesimi di sterlina per azione, pagati nel 2018.
Il takeover annunciato tra le polemiche è parte di una nuova fase del consolidamento in atto nel settore dei media cui hanno aperto la strada i cambiamenti nelle tecnologie distributive e nelle abitudini del pubblico. Un colosso Fox-Sky unirà una compagnia di produzione di contenuti con un distributore che ha la possibilità distributiva con il satellite, internet veloce e tlc mobile. Nel 2014, Fox cercò senza successo di comprare Time Warner.
Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. Announces Recommended Cash Offer for Sky plc
NEW YORK--Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21st Century Fox”) today announced that it has reached agreement with Sky plc (“Sky”) on the terms of a recommended pre-conditional cash offer by 21st Century Fox for the fully diluted share capital of Sky which 21st Century Fox and its affiliates do not already own (the “Acquisition”).
Under the terms of the Acquisition, Sky shareholders will be entitled to receive for each Sky share £10.75 in cash.
The price of £10.75 per Sky share represents:
- a premium of approximately 40 per cent. to the closing price of £7.69 per Sky share on December 6, 2016, being the last business day before the date on which an initial proposal was received from 21st Century Fox by Sky;
- a premium of approximately 36 per cent. to the closing price of £7.90 per Sky share on December 8, 2016, being the last business day before the start of the offer period; and a multiple of approximately 11.4 times Sky’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £2,178 million for the twelve month period ended June 30, 2016.
21st Century Fox currently anticipates that the Acquisition will complete before the end of 2017. Under the terms of the Acquisition, if the Effective Date (as defined in the UK Announcement) has not occurred on or before December 31, 2017, Sky shareholders shall be entitled to receive a special dividend of 10 pence per Sky share, payable in 2018.
The price of £10.75 per Sky share shall be reduced to the extent that:
- the dividend in respect of the six months ending December 31, 2017 exceeds 13.06 pence per Sky share; and
- the dividend in respect of the year ending June 30, 2018 exceeds 21.8 pence per Sky share.
Sky will not pay any dividends in 2017.
The Cash Consideration implies a value of approximately £11.7 billion ($14.8 billion based upon an exchange rate of USD:GBP 1.27) for the fully diluted ordinary share capital of Sky (excluding the Sky shares already owned by 21st Century Fox and its affiliates).
The independent committee of Sky intends to recommend unanimously that unaffiliated Sky shareholders vote in favour of the Acquisition.
Commenting on the Acquisition, 21st Century Fox said:
“As the founding shareholder of Sky, we are proud to have participated in its growth and development. The strategic rationale for this combination is clear. It creates a global leader in content creation and distribution, enhances our sports and entertainment scale, and gives us unique and leading direct-to-consumer capabilities and technologies. It adds the strength of the Sky brand to our portfolio, including the Fox, National Geographic and Star brands.”
“Sky is a creative, commercial, and consumer powerhouse delivering its own content to customers across all platforms. Sky is the #1 PayTV brand in all its key markets, with an exciting growth runway in each. The enhanced capabilities of the combined company will be underpinned by a more geographically diverse and stable revenue base. It will also create an improved balance between subscription, affiliate fee, advertising and content revenues. This combination creates an agile organization that is equipped to better succeed in a global market.”
The Acquisition is subject to a number of pre-conditions and conditions as set forth in the UK Announcement released today in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the UK City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, including the receipt of regulatory approvals and the approval of Sky’s shareholders.
This announcement should be read in conjunction with the full announcement, which includes additional information about the terms of the Acquisition, the Co-operation Agreement and the Bridge Credit Agreement described below, which was issued in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the UK City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, and which can be found on our website at https://www.21cf.com/investor-relations/possible-offer-sky-plc (the “UK Announcement”).
21st Century Fox entered into the Co-operation Agreement with Sky pursuant to which 21st Century Fox and Sky agreed to take certain steps to facilitate completion of the Acquisition. The Co-operation Agreement provides for a £200 million break fee payable by 21st Century Fox in the event that regulatory approvals are not obtained prior to the longstop date described in the agreement.
To provide financing in connection with the Acquisition, 21st Century Fox and its 100% owned subsidiary 21st Century Fox America, Inc. entered into a Bridge Credit Agreement with Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners. The Bridge Credit Agreement provides for borrowings of up to £12.2 billion.