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Comcast becomes majority owner of Sky


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Comcast becomes majority owner of Sky

Comcast Corp. now holds more than 75% of British pay TV company Sky PLC after completing the acquisition of Sky shares held by 21st Century Fox Inc.

"We are pleased today to be the majority owner of Sky," Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in an Oct. 9 statement, adding that the company is "fully committed to ensuring Sky News' future, maintaining its editorial independence, and preserving its strong track record for trusted, high quality, impartial news."

Sky will now apply with the U.K. Listing Authority and the London Stock Exchange for the cancellation of listing and trading of Sky shares. The cancellation of the shares is expected to become effective Nov. 7.

Additionally, James Murdoch, John Nallen, Chase Carey, Martin Gilbert, Andy Sukawaty, Tracy Clarke and Katrin Wehr-Seiter resigned from the Sky board. The director resignations came after Comcast unit Comcast Bidco Ltd.'s cash offer to acquire the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of Sky for £17.28 per Sky share became unconditional, following the completion of its purchase of the 672,783,139 Sky shares held by Twenty-First Century Fox.

Comcast now owns 1,321,384,334 Sky shares, representing about 76.84%.

Matthieu Pigasse and Adine Grate have agreed to remain on the Sky board for the time being. James Conyers, Sky's group general counsel, has been appointed to the Sky board as an executive director.

U.S. giant Comcast last month outbid 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. when it offered £17.28 per share for Sky, beating Fox's £15.67 per Sky share offer in a rare auction process by the U.K.'s Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.