Murdoch’s Fox agrees $32.5 billion bid for Sky

Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky, may still face further competition from US cable giant Comcast which submitted its own bid for Sky in February. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2018
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Murdoch’s Fox agrees $32.5 billion bid for Sky

LONDON: Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox said it had agreed a deal to buy Britain’s Sky with an offer valuing the pay-TV group at $32.5 billion, trumping rival bidder Comcast.
Fox, which is expecting to get regulatory approval from Britain this week after striking an initial deal with Sky in December 2016, upped its offer to £14 per share, from its earlier £10.75 per share.
The price agreed, which represents an 82 percent premium to the price of Sky’s shares in December 2016 before Fox’s initial offer, is at a multiple of 21 times 2017 earnings per share, Fox said.
But Fox may still face further competition from US cable giant Comcast which submitted its own bid for Sky in February, valuing the pan European group at £12.50 per share. Sky’s shares closed at £15.01 on Tuesday, meaning shareholders may also not like the price.
Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky, said it had secured the agreement of the independent committee of Sky for the deal.


Sri Lanka abusing UN law to make arrests: rights group

Updated 17 June 2019
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Sri Lanka abusing UN law to make arrests: rights group

  • Police attempted to arrest a journalist for his writing on anti-Muslim riots and Buddhist extremists using the UN-backed law
  • Police have also drawn criticism over the detention of a Muslim woman during anti-Muslim riots last month

COLOMBO: Media activists on Monday accused Sri Lankan police of using a UN convention on hate speech to crack down on media freedom and the country’s Muslim minority.
The Free Media Movement rights group said the police Special Task Force (STF) attempted to arrest a respected journalist for his writing on anti-Muslim riots and Buddhist extremists using the UN-backed law.
The STF told a magistrate on Friday they were pursuing freelance writer Kusal Perera under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act.
“The Free Media Movement strongly condemns the attempts to pursue legal action under the provisions of the ICCPR Act and urges all responsible stakeholders to draw their attention to avoid using the law unfairly,” the group said.
Police have also drawn criticism over the detention of a Muslim woman during anti-Muslim riots last month. She was wearing a T-shirt with a print of a ship’s steering wheel which police mistook for the Dharma Chakra, a Buddhist symbol.
The woman was held in remand custody for three weeks before a senior police officer intervened to press for her release.
Award winning author and poet Shakthika Sathkumara has been held since April under the ICCPR act for his work hinting at homosexuality among the Buddhist clergy.
A senior police source told AFP separate investigations had been launched into the three cases.
“We feel that police exceeded their authority in using the ICCPR and we will take action against those responsible,” the officer said, asking not to be named.
The leftist People’s Liberation Front (JVP) party said police have arbitrarily detained several Muslim men and women since the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people.
The suicide bombings on three churches and three hotels were blamed on local Muslim militants.
Anti-Muslim riots after the April 21 bombings left one Muslim man dead and hundreds of Muslim-owned businesses, homes, vehicles and mosques wrecked.
Sri Lankan authorities are very sensitive to perceived insults to Buddhism, the majority religion.
However Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court in 2017 awarded 900,000 rupees ($5,000) in damages to a woman who police detained for four days for having a Buddha tattooed on her arm.