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A round up of key developments in corporate transactions covered by Lexis®PSL Market tracker this week.
The Takeover Panel (Panel) have intervened and established a rare auction procedure pursuant to Rule 32.5 of the Takeover Code, to provide an orderly framework for the resolution of the competitive bids for Sky by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (Fox) and Comcast Corporation (Comcast). The Sky takeover battle has run over nearly two years and the sealed auction bid will end the bidding war.
The auction is expected to commence on 21 September 2018 and end during the evening of 22 September 2018. The auction process consists of three rounds of bids; the lowest bidder, Fox, will make the first bid in the first round which will then be followed by the competing bidder, Comcast. For more detail on the auction procedure, see our news analysis in Lexis®PSL Corporate: Takeover Panel establishes auction procedure for competitive bids for Sky plc (subscription required).
The rare auction procedure is most likely to be implemented where a competitive situation continues to exist in the later stages of an offer period. Sky plc shareholders have reluctantly accepted the bids made by Fox and Comcast. Both competing bidders extended their offer periods after receiving low acceptances from Sky shareholders, Fox received acceptances of approximately 0.7% and Comcast received acceptances of approximately 0.29%.
The last time the Panel intervened was over 10 years ago, where Tata Group outbid Companhia Siderurgica Nacional to acquire British company Corus Group plc for £6.7 billion to create the world’s fifth largest steelmaker.
On Thursday 20th September, Aston Martin announced a price range of between £17.50 and £22.50 per share for its upcoming IPO, which would give the company a market capitalisation of between £4 billion and £5.07 billion upon listing. If the top end of
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