"The basis for this ruling is that... the executive considers that securing control of Sky might reasonably be considered to be a significant objective of Disney's acquiring control of Fox". That offer however is below the GBP12.50 per share bid made by NBCUniversal owner Comcast Corp back in February for Sky, as well as Sky's current share price.
The Takeover Panel also ruled that Disney would have to match Fox's £10.75 (Dh56.03) a share offer for the Sky stocks, which is the same offered by Fox for the company stocks which it doesn't already hold.
Sky shares were mostly unchanged at 1,311 pence as of 11:41am in London. The country's antitrust regulator-The Competition and Markets Authority-in January provisionally ruled the Fox offer against the public interest on media plurality grounds. "Further advice to Sky Shareholders will be announced in due course", it stated.
However, it ensures a guaranteed bidder for Sky in the event that British regulators don't sign off the Fox takeover.
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The UK's Competition and Markets Authority is now reviewing Fox's bid for Sky and is due to report back to British culture secretary Matt Hancock by May 1, who will then have 30 days to decide whether or not to approve the deal. Rice said the new company will probably just be called "Fox".
In a statement, Sky said that it noted the panel executive's ruling and advised shareholders to take no further action at this stage.
"It's very good news", said Crispin Odey, founder of hedge fund manager Odey Asset Management, which owns a 0.8% stake in Sky according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the time, Disney said it didn't think it should be forced into bidding for Sky.
It will come as a blow to Disney, which is understood to have wanted flexibility in whether or not to bid for the rest of Sky should regulators block the Fox bid.