UK pension funds demand fair price offer for Sky

British public sector pension funds yesterday called for an “appropriate” premium in any potential deal between Twenty-First Century Fox and Sky, as well as for safeguards to protect minority shareholders.
UK pension funds demand fair price offer for Sky

Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox aims to table a firm cash bid valuing Sky at £10.75 per share for the 61% of the British broadcaster it does not already own.

“All directors of Sky have a duty not to disadvantage the public shareholders, and the position of the non-executives will need to be robust to ensure that the premium paid is appropriate and that shareholders are not disadvantaged by any temporary low in the share price,” said Kieran Quinn, chairman of Britain’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF).

The LAPFF represents 71 public sector pension funds managing £175bn in assets.

LAPFF said it wanted to see unspecified “safeguards for future probity given past track records of the businesses controlled by the Murdoch family”.

“Further clarity may also be needed so public shareholders have full confidence that proposals are not being unduly influenced by the well-known relationships between Sky and Twenty-First Century Fox,” it said.

“The role of [British communications industry regulator] OFCOM would be helpful in bringing its expert scrutiny on a deal that will have a broader impact on the future of the broadcasting and print media marketplace in the UK.”

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