Hedge funds are pressuring regulators to force 21st Century Fox into raising its bid for Sky.
They want the UK Takeover Panel to impose a minimum bid for the broadcaster that is above Fox’s offer of £11.7 billion.
Sky is at the centre of a bidding war that has sent its shares soaring. Fox owns 39 per cent of the company and wants to buy the rest.
In demand: Sky is at the centre of a bidding war that has sent its shares soaring
But it is up against Universal Studios owner Comcast, which has put in a rival bid of £22 billion for the business. Hedge funds have been building stakes in the broadcaster in hope of pocketing a huge windfall when a victor emerges.
Yesterday Disney won approval from the US government for its purchase of most of Fox. Meanwhile, Comcast was reportedly discussing raising cash for another bid with investors.
Disney had recently raised its offer for Fox to £54bn and said that Sky was likely to be more profitable than it thought. Analysts say the new figures imply a value of £25.4 billion for Sky – higher than the offers on the table from Fox and Comcast.
One shareholder said: ‘The argument is over how much of Disney’s new offer to Fox should be ascribed to Sky.
‘We believe Sky’s performance has been better than the rest of Fox and therefore it deserves more than a linear increase.’ The Takeover Panel did not comment last night. Sky shares have jumped by more than 80 per cent since Fox first launched its bid to acquire the 61 per cent of the company it does not own in December 2016. Yesterday, its stock was up 1.15 per cent, or 16.5p, to 1453p.
It comes as it emerged bankers at Goldman Sachs were set to rake in £80m through fees from Disney’s proposed takeover of Fox. This includes about £44m for transaction fees.