Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is said to be in talks to sell its 39 per cent stake in UK broadcaster Sky to entertainment giant Walt Disney.
Discussions between the two global companies are said to have rekindled after stalling last month, the FT has reported, with Fox also looking to sell off its entertainment and international assets.
The fresh talks of a deal cast doubt on Fox’s £11.7bn bid to buy the remaining portion of Sky it does not already own, which is currently facing scrutiny by the competition watchdog.
Broker Liberum told the Evening Standard that Disney/Fox talks throw a “curveball into the [Sky] deal”, but added: “We still see a successful conclusion of the bid as most likely.”
The FT has also reported that Fox chief executive and Sky chairman James Murdoch is being considered as a successor to Disney chief executive Bob Iger should an agreement be reached between the two companies.
Sky has said that it could pull the plug on Sky News if fears over plurality of media ownership lead to the blocking of Rupert Murdoch’s take-over bid, placing a question over the future of 500 news staff.
Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire