A&O and Skadden among raft of firms advising as 21st Century Fox approaches Sky for takeover

Rupert Murdoch

Allen & Overy (A&O), Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Simpson Thacher have scored roles advising 21st Century Fox on its takeover bid for Sky.

It is understood that Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is acting for Sky on the deal.

Sky confirmed that it had received a bid from the television giant on Friday (9 December). The bid reportedly values the company at £18.5bn. The proposed offer is for all the shares that 21st Century Fox does not own in Sky and it is worth £10.75 per share.

21st Century Fox is owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. It already owns a 39.1% stake in Sky.

A&O is acting for longstanding client 21st Century Fox on the proposed deal, leading on corporate, regulatory and competition matters. Its team is being led out of London by antitrust co-head Antonio Bavasso, corporate finance partner David Broadley and M&A partners Seth Jones and Simon Toms.

Skadden is also advising 21st Century Fox on corporate matters with a team led by New York M&A partner Howard Ellin, and Simpson Thatcher Bartlett is advising on the financing aspects of the deal with a team including New York partner and global banking head Patrick Ryan and banking associate Matthew Farrell .

In July 2014, A&O advised 21st Century Fox on the $9.3bn (£7.4bn) sale of Sky Italia and a 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland to BSkyB. Its team was led by global managing partner Andrew Ballheimer and London corporate/M&A partner Simon Toms.

HSF also advised Sky on that deal with a team led by global M&A head Stephen Wilkinson.

Previously, 21st Century Fox (then News Corp) withdrew a bid in 2011 to takeover Sky (then BSkyB) amid political pressure following the phone hacking revelations at newspapers published by News Corp.