Sky News presenters could be among 700 staff to benefit from £350m bonus payout as shares rise amid bidding war

Journalists at Sky could be among those to receive a share of a £350m performance-related bonus if the UK broadcaster is sold to Comcast.

The US giant’s £22bn bid to buy Sky would put the company’s share price at £12.50, which would trigger the payout as part of an existing long-term incentive plan tied to the value of company shares.

A bidding war between Comcast and 21st Century Fox, which has offered £10.75 per share at a total of £11.7bn for the 61 per cent of Sky it doesn’t already own, has already driven share prices up to more than £13.

This could increase further as Fox is anticipated to up its offer in response, according to the Sunday Times.

As it stands about 700 staff, including executives, senior managers and Sky News presenters, could share in the £350m payout at an average of £500,000 per person, dependent on performance targets being met.

A Sky spokesperson told Press Gazette: “We are proud that we have built Sky, a European company, to become globally recognised as an outstanding business in our industry.

“Our customers, shareholders and employees have and continue to benefit from its ongoing success and sustained delivery.”

The increase in Sky’s market value would also benefit the 50 per cent of Sky staff who are part of the companies Sharesave award scheme.

Comcast’s bid has been cleared by the European regulators and will not face intervention from the UK Government. But, Fox has been told it must sell off Sky News or have its bid blocked under public interest concerns.

A deal to divest the whole of Sky, including Sky News, to Disney was struck by the Fox-owner Rupert Murdoch in December last year. Under the deal, Disney would get the whole of Sky upon completion of the Fox takeover.

Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

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