S&P Global Ratings on Dec. 13 placed Sky plc's corporate credit rating and issue ratings on CreditWatch with positive implications following 21st Century Fox Inc.'s proposal to acquire the outstanding shares of the European pay TV group that Fox does not already own for £10.75 per share.
According to the rating agency, though the announcement is nonbinding and may not result in a merger, there is a "significant likelihood" that a deal will be finalized.
S&P on Dec. 9 placed the corporate credit rating and issue-level rating of Fox on CreditWatch with negative implications following the confirmation of the nonbinding offer.
If a deal is not reached, S&P will remove its ratings on Sky and Fox from CreditWatch, and will rate Sky on a stand-alone basis. However, if a deal goes through, the agency will determine Sky's CreditWatch placement based on how Fox finances the transaction and the assessment of the long-term leverage prospects of the combined company.
"The ratings on Sky will depend on our view of the strategic importance of its assets to Fox," S&P said.
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.