21st Century Fox has struck a deal to buy pay TV service Sky for $14.8 billion.
Fox says it expects the deal to close by year's end. It had signaled it was in the late stages of striking the agreement.
"As the founding shareholder of Sky, we are proud to have participated in its growth and development," said Fox in a statement. "The strategic rationale for this combination is clear. It creates a global leader in content creation and distribution, enhances our sports and entertainment scale, and gives us unique and leading direct-to-consumer capabilities and technologies. It adds the strength of the Sky brand to our portfolio, including the Fox, National Geographic and Star brands.”
Fox has agreed to pay a £200 million breakup fee if regulatory approval is not secured.
Financing for the deal, up to north of $12 billion, came from Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Sky has 22 million subs in five countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland.