Sky Studios
Murdochs tell Culture Secretary delay to Fox takeover of Sky bad for 'British investment'Reuters

James and Lachlan Murdoch, chief executive and executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, fronted by their media mogul father Rupert, have urged UK culture secretary Karen Bradley to let their company buyout broadcaster Sky, saying any delays would be bad for "foreign direct investment" after Brexit.

Fox's $15bn bid (£11.5bn), for 61% of Sky that it does not already own, was approved by majority of the company's shareholders in December 2016.

However, it was dealt a blow in March 2017, after Bradley said she was minded to refer the bid for further investigation on grounds that it would give the Murdochs too much influence over the UK media landscape.

In the letter dated July 14, and published on Wednesday (19 July), the Murdochs wrote: "While we await the outcome of the regulatory process, important investment decisions will inevitably need to be deferred.

"There is also the broader risk of a potential harmful effect on other companies' inward investment decisions currently under consideration in the UK."

The Murdochs also said the deal was one of the biggest UK investments, by headline valuation, since the country voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.

"Our proposed transaction will be carefully scrutinised by others keen to gauge the government's commitment to creating a climate conducive to investment, or in the words of the Prime Minister [Theresa May] and several of your fellow ministers, 'open for business'," they added.

The European Commission's competition authority cleared the deal in April. Regulator Ofcom has assessed the deal and raised no concerns about Fox's genuine commitment to broadcasting standards. Bradley's final decision is yet to be revealed.