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Bankers, lawyers and PR firms to pocket £340m from Comcast-Sky deal

Comcast is expecting to pay fees of up to £243 million, while Sky’s will top out at around £96 million.

Sky is in the middle of a takeover tussle (Chris Radburn/PA)
Sky is in the middle of a takeover tussle (Chris Radburn/PA)

Bankers, lawyers and PR firms are poised for a bumper £339 million pay day if Comcast triumphs in its takeover bid for broadcaster Sky.

Documents released on Friday reveal the likes of Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Barclays will share in multimillion-pound fees if the £26 billion deal goes through.

Those offering financial and corporate broking advice will together receive up to £38 million from Comcast alone, and those billing for “financial arrangements” are set to net a cool £170 million.

Comcast’s PR firm Tulchan will share in the near £7.7 million earmarked for public relations advice, while its lawyers Freshfields and David Polk will be pocketing part of the £24 million linked to legal costs.

The accountants and firms providing Comcast with tax advice are set for a smaller £636,000 payout.

In total, Comcast is expecting to pay fees of up to £243 million.

Sky will pay out nearly £96 million for similar services, with up to £61.5 million set for financial and corporate broking advice, while its public relations advisers will receive £5 million.

The figures are the latest to come out of a takeover saga that has pitted Comcast against rival bidder 21st Century Fox.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is making a rival bid for Sky (Ian West/PA)

Comcast recently increased its offer for Sky to £26 billion, just hours after Fox hiked its bid for the UK broadcaster to £24.5 billion.

All eyes will now turn to Fox to see if it will increase its offer in turn.

Earlier this week, Fox was given the UK Government’s all-clear to take over Sky, though the company still faces a battle to see off Comcast.

Newly appointed Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said he agreed with his predecessor’s final decision to accept Fox’s planned sale of Sky News to Disney should it succeed in buying Sky – a move clearing the final regulatory hurdle for Fox.

The Government has already separately cleared Comcast’s bid for Sky.

The Government had been concerned over the impact that Fox’s takeover of Sky could have on UK media, given that the Murdoch family also owns News Corp – the publisher of a raft of newspapers including The Sun and The Times.

Under its plans to appease Government concerns over media plurality, Fox has pledged to offload Sky News to Walt Disney, and provide a Disney-owned Sky News channel with funding of at least £100 million a year for 15 years.



From Belfast Telegraph