Singer’s hedge fund buys Sky stake

by BLOOMBERG

LONDON • Elliott Management Corp, the hedge fund founded by billionaire Paul Singer (picture), has built a stake in Sky plc as shareholders prepare to vote on 21st Century Fox Inc’s £11.7 billion (RM64.44 billion) offer for the European pay-TV company.

Elliott Capital Advisors LP, a subsidiary of Singer’s fund, disclosed a 1.09% interest in Sky via derivatives, according to a regulatory filing published last Friday. Elliott’s investment is fluid and the firm has yet to determine whether it will be an active or passive position, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private.

Singer, who made his name on Wall Street as a tenacious activist investor, is entering the fray with Fox already under pressure to raise its bid. Hedge-fund managers Crispin Odey and Reade Griffith have argued that Walt Disney Co’s interest in the broadcaster means Sky shareholders should receive a premium to Fox’s offer of £10.75 per share.

Disney would acquire Sky from Fox through its US$52.4 billion (RM203.4 billion) deal to buy most of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

A spokeswoman for Elliott, which has about US$34.1 billion in assets under management, declined to comment on its reason for holding Sky shares. Fox and Sky didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Fox’s takeover of Sky is awaiting clearance from UK regulators and politicians, with a final decision expected by June. If the deal is approved, it would then have to pass a vote of Sky’s independent shareholders. — Bloomberg