Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox bids $14.1 billion for UK's Sky

Speculation that a bid could resurface began to bubble up again in January when the media mogul's son, James Murdoch, took up the role as chairman of Sky.

Both News Corp and Fox remain largely controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family.

According to Reuters calculations, Fox will pay 11.25 billion pounds for the stake in Sky that it does not already own.

Marrying distribution with content is becoming increasingly important in a competitive media industry. Earlier this year, AT&T announced an $85.4 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Inc.

The WSJ also points out that in 2011, News Corp. dropped its bid to take full control of Sky after a scandal over the reporting tactics at one of its United Kingdom newspaper titles raised government and public outcry over the deal.

Recently, the Murdoch family has shown renewed interest in Sky.

News Corp. has since split into 21st Century Fox and News Corp, parent company of The Wall Street Journal.

He said in a note: "The UK government is keen to promote investment in the UK post-the Brexit vote".

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Sky on Friday said it had agreed to a preliminary deal with Fox that values Sky at 10.75 pounds a share in cash ($13.58), or about $23 billion, representing a premium of 36% to the closing price on Thursday.

Taking control of Sky gives 21st Century Fox, which owns cable networks Fox News, FX and the Fox broadcast channel and a major Hollywood film studio, a distributor in Europe.

Sky's shares were up 26 percent at 10 pounds in late trading in London, while Fox's shares were up 4.3 percent.

Shares in Sky jumped almost 30% to £10.26 on the news.

The deal has also been made more attractive for the Murdochs by a drop in the value of sterling, which makes it cheaper for foreign companies to buy United Kingdom assets.

"Between the fall in sterling and the fall in the share price, Fox are effectively trying to pay no premium at all", complained one fund manager.

James Murdoch had previously held the position as Sky's chief executive between 2003 and 2007, but was forced to resign as the Murdoch empire became engulfed by public outrage at reports of phone-hacking at the Murdoch-owned News of the World newspaper.

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