Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Comcast Corp. announced an offer on Tuesday to buy Sky for $31 billion -- challenging Rupert Murdoch's attempt to take over the broadcasting group.
In a statement, Comcast said it was announcing a "superior" cash proposal of roughly $17.50 per share in value over the existing 21st Century Fox -- run by Murdoch -- offer for Sky.
Combining Sky -- which brings entertainment and communications services primarily in the Britain, Germany and Italy -- with Comcast would bring "attractive financial benefits" to Comcast shareholders, the corporation said.
"We think Sky is an outstanding company. It has 23 million customers and leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany," Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said. "Sky has been a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver a fantastic viewing experience and has a proud record of investment in news and programming. It has great people and a very strong and capable management team."
Comcast's offer pits Murdoch's 21st Century Fox against the biggest cable operator in the United States.
Fox owns 31 percent of Sky and attempted to take full control in December 2016 before the deal was held up by regulatory issues.
Roberts, however, told investors during a conference call on Tuesday that Comcast-Sky would be a "perfect fit".
"Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for growth in Europe," Roberts said. "We already have a strong presence in London through our NBCUniversal international operations, and we intend to maintain Sky's UK headquarters. Adding Sky to the Comcast family of businesses will increase our international revenues from 9% to 25% of Company revenues."