Fox in fresh talks to sell Sky stake to Disney, reports claim

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It is unclear if any Disney deal would be conditional on Fox's Sky bid succeeding, but today CNBC journalist Daniel Farber said: "It's my understanding that Disney would want to own all of Sky".

Broker Liberum told the Evening Standard that Disney/Fox talks throw a "curveball into the [Sky] deal", but added: "We still see a successful conclusion of the bid as most likely".

However, no deal between Disney and Fox is imminent and several issues have yet to be fully negotiated, the sources said.

Walt Disney's potential acquisition of rival studio 20th Century Fox has elicited both excitement and skepticism from fans and Hollywood professionals.

Disney, which has a market value of around $166 billion, would acquire Fox's FX and National Geographic cable channels, its movie studio, the Star network in India and stake in European pay-TV provider Sky PLC.

The Financial Times has suggested that Rupert Murdoch and his younger son, James, could both be in line for senior roles. Disney is reportedly interested in the business at an enterprise value of about $60 billion, which implies a 10.5 value to earnings ratio.

Meanwhile, Fox would be left with its news broadcast operation, plus some of its sports assets, under the leadership of Lachlan Murdoch, James's brother.

Sky shares were up 1.3pc to £9.89 in afternoon trade.

Those assets would offer the opportunity for both Comcast and Disney to broaden their worldwide distribution footprint.

While the long-rumored deal has moviegoers salivating about the thought of an Avengers/X-Men crossover movie, the transaction would have local ramifications as well.

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