Sky takeover: Comcast gatecrashes Murdoch’s plans with £22bn bid – business live

Comcast is also pledging to use keep Sky’s headquarters in the UK, if its takeover bid succeeds.

Chairman Brian Roberts says:

NEWSFLASH: Comcast, the US cable company, has launched a takeover bid for Sky, in a challenge to Rupert Murdoch.

Comcast is offering to pay £12.50 per share in cash for the British broadcaster, valuing it at $31bn, or £22.1bn.

This is a 16% premium to the existing takeover bid from 21st Century Fox (£10.75 per share).

Brian Roberts, Comcast chief executive, says “We think Sky is an outstanding company”, adding:

That bid has been caught up in regulatory concerns — last month, the Competition and Markets Authority ruled that it was not in the public interest for Fox to buy the 61% of Sky it doesn’t own, due to media plurality concerns.

There’s an additional complication — since bidding for Sky, Murdoch has agreed a deal to sell much of Fox’s assets to Disney.

More to follow….

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

It’s Jerome Powell’s big day. The world’s most powerful central banker testifies to Congress, for the first time since replacing Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve.

Investors around the world will be watching closely, for hints about how quickly the Fed might raise interest rates if inflation picks up. Worries about rising borrowing costs caused the markets to plunge at the start of this month; traders will be worried about a repeat.

Jasper Lawler of London Capital Group says:

Although yields have fallen away from their recent 4 year high, there is still a level of caution among investors over the future of the US economy and monetary policy, which is keeping the market on edge.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the most relevant event today will be new Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s appearance before Congress, in the Semi-annual Monetary Policy Report. This is his first official testimony in a highly anticipated event.

However, given the backdrop of interest rate expectation sensitivity, which caused significant market disruption, Powell is unlikely to want to rock the boat.

We also get new economic data from the eurozone, including the first estimate of inflation across the single currency bloc.

The agenda

8.55am GMT: German unemployment figures

10am GMT: Flash estimate of Eurozone inflation for February

2pm GMT: Jerome Powell’s testimony to the House Banking Committee is released

3pm GMT: Powell’s session before the House Banking Committee begins