Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty First Century Fox has reached an agreement to buy the remaining shares in Sky Plc for $14.6 billion. The move signifies the fulfilment of a desire by Murdoch to acquire the company he founded nearly three decades ago. Sky is the biggest pay-TV firm in Europe, with customers in U.K., Italy, Ireland, Germany and Austria, for a combined haul of 22 million subscribers. the merger will create a company with a heavy territorial advantage across two continents, with the capacity to seize more market share in Europe, given its access to more premium content from the US. 21st Century Fox already owns 39.1 percent of Sky, and offered £10.75 per share for the remaining stake for a sum of £11.7 billion pounds. The agreement puts the total valuation of the company at £18.5 billion. The deal was made easier to capitalise on for Fox, as the Brexit vote has lowered the value of the British pound by 15 percent against the dollar. Sky’s share price has also waned in the past few months. The announcement caused shares in the company to shoot up by more than 30 percent.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval in the UK and US. Murdoch believes the deal is in the best interest of the customers, and is confident the deal will be finalised by the end of 2017. In their statement, Fox highlighted the benefit for the British economy, following the departure of key investments from the country due to their departure from the EU. “It would also enhance Sky’s leading position in entertainment and sport, and reinforce the U.K.’s standing as a top global hub for content generation and technological innovation,” Fox said in the statement.