Fox Will Sell Sky Stake to Comcast for Around $15 Billion - NBC 6 South Florida
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Fox Will Sell Sky Stake to Comcast for Around $15 Billion

Last week, a source familiar with Comcast's thinking told CNBC they expected Disney and Comcast to begin discussions around a Sky tender

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    NEWSLETTERS

    21st Century Fox will sell the remainder of its stake in U.K.-based broadcaster Sky, the company announced on Wednesday, just days after Comcast out dueled Fox in a takeover bid. 

    Comcast and Fox have been embroiled in a bidding war for Sky, which is viewed as a coveted international asset in the pay-TV industry. On Saturday, the companies squared off in a rare one-day auction to settle who would own the British broadcast giant. 

    With the cable giant having offered $40 billion for a majority stake in Sky, The Walt Disney Company consented to 21st Century Fox (21CF) tendering its 39 percent stake in Sky. At current exchange rates, the 17.28-pound offer translates into $22.75 per share, valuing the deal at over $15 billion. 

    "The transaction, coupled with the divestiture of the Fox Sports Regional Networks, will significantly reduce the amount of debt Disney will incur in acquiring 21st Century Fox, and enable Disney to maintain its strong balance sheet as it continues to invest in content creation for its direct-to-consumer platforms," Disney said in a statement. 

    Disney had previously agreed to buy Fox's movie assets in a separate deal, and could have gained control over Sky had Fox prevailed at the auction. 

    Last week, a source familiar with Comcast's thinking told CNBC they expected Disney and Comcast to begin discussions around a Sky tender. Those talks may include its 30 percent stake in Hulu, an American online entertainment service, the source added.

    "With 21CF announcing its intention to sell its shares to Comcast we close one chapter while simultaneously opening another," said Jeremy Darroch, Sky Group's CEO in a statement. "Our aim is to make the next 30 years as exciting for customers, colleagues and all our stakeholders." 

    The British broadcaster has recommended to its shareholders that they accept Comcast's offer immediately. However, the deal won't be confirmed until Sky shareholders formally accept it. 

    --CNBC's Alex Sherman, Anjali Robins and Graham Smith contributed to this article.

    This story first appeared on CNBC.com. More from CNBC: