LONDON Dec 15 Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First
Century Fox said on Thursday it had agreed to buy
European pay-TV firm Sky for $14.6 billion, sticking to
its 10.75 pounds per share offer despite complaints from some
Fox said it would pursue a Scheme of Arrangement, meaning it
would need the backing of 75 percent of Sky's independent
shareholders who vote to secure a deal that values Sky at 18.5
billion pounds in total.
Seeking to consolidate his media empire across Europe and
the United States, Murdoch is buying the 61 percent of Sky he
does not already own to fully acquire its 22 million customers
in Britain, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.
The two firms said last Friday they had struck a preliminary
deal, with some issues still to be agreed.
But the price disappointed several top 50 shareholders who
accused Sky of selling out to their founder and biggest
shareholder too cheaply.
Shares in Sky were trading at 985 pence on Thursday.
The agreed terms come five years after Murdoch failed in a
previous bid to buy Sky when a newspaper phone hacking scandal
at one of his tabloids derailed a previous offer. Lawyers expect
the new deal to be approved by European and British authorities.
($1 = 0.8022 pounds)
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Paul Sandle)