Comcast has announced its pre-conditional superior cash offer for the issue and to be issued capital of Sky.
In addition to the cash offer, Comcast revealed that it plans to meet the following obligations regarding Sky and investments in the U.K.:
- Maintain annual expenditure in Sky News for 10 years, at a level not less than incurred in Sky’s 2017 financial year;
- Establish an editorial Sky News board with the responsibility to ensure the editorial independence of Sky News for 10 years;
- Maintain Sky’s U.K. headquarters in Osterley for five years;
- Not acquire any majority interest in U.K. newspapers for five years.
Comcast has also reconfirmed the following statements of intention given in its Rule 2.4 announcement last February:
- Continue to support the creative industries in the U.K. and increase investment in U.K. film and TV production;
- Support innovation in the U.K. by continuing to support Sky’s technology hub in Leeds;
- Continue to support young people in the U.K. by maintaining Sky’s Software Engineering Academy scheme; and
- Continue to support Sky’s local community sports programs in the U.K.
“We are delighted to be formalizing our offer for Sky today. We have long believed Sky is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast. Sky has a strong business, excellent customer loyalty, and a valued brand,” says Brian L. Robot, chairman and chief executive officer, Comcast Corporation. “It is led by a terrific management team who we look forward to working with to build and grow this business With its 23 million retail customers, leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany, and its history of strong financial performance, we see significant opportunities for growth by combining our businesses. Sky is a highly complementary business and will expand Comcast’s international footprint in the UK and Continental Europe. Sky will be our platform for growth across Europe. The combined customer base of approximately 52 million will allow us to invest more in original and acquired programming and more in innovation as we strive to deliver a truly differentiated customer experience. We look forward to receiving the necessary regulatory approvals.”