September 27, 2018 / 6:31 AM / a year ago

Comcast to stop buying Sky shares in the market

A woman walks past the NBC and Comcast logos on 30 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan in New York, U.S., February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Comcast said it would stop buying Sky’s shares in the market after it secured 38 percent of the stock plus the 39 percent holding from Rupert Murdoch in the $40 billion takeover.

The U.S. cable company emerged triumphant in the long-running battle for the pay-TV group after it beat Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox in a rare auction held last weekend.

The deal, struck at a price of 17.28 pounds, also marks a setback for U.S. entertainment giant Walt Disney which would have been Sky’s ultimate owner as it has agreed a separate $71 billion deal to buy most of Fox’s film and TV assets.

Fox, which helped to launch the British-based company, said on Wednesday it would now sell its 39 percent stake in Sky to Comcast, giving its U.S. rival more than 51 percent control.

Comcast will issue the offer document on Thursday and shareholders will then be able to tender their shares in the normal way. Investors have until Oct. 11 to do so.

The deal will give Comcast, owner of Universal Pictures and the NBC network, a global footprint of 53 million customers.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Sarah Young; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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