Sky takeover battle to be settled in weekend auction

The long-running bidding battle for Sky will be decided in a quick-fire auction finishing on Saturday night, Britain’s Takeover Panel has announced.

The Panel said Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and US media giant Comcast have agreed to settle the takeover tussle with a three-round auction that is due to kick off at 5pm on Friday and end during the evening of September 22.

The process has been triggered as Fox and Comcast have yet to announce their best-and-final bids for pay-TV giant Sky ahead of the September 22 deadline.

The Takeover Panel said the first round of the auction will take place on Saturday, with Fox firing the gun on proceedings, as it currently has the lowest bid.

The winner of the auction will be announced “as soon as practicable” after it finishes on Saturday in a dramatic end to one of the City’s most complex and convoluted takeover sagas in recent memory.

It comes after Comcast increased its offer for Sky to £26 billion (€29bn) in July, just hours after Fox hiked its bid for the 61% stake in the UK broadcaster that it does not already own to £24.5 billion (€27.6bn).

Fox has not responded with a higher offer.

- Press Association

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