Sky to be bought by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox in £11.7 billion deal

Broadcaster Sky will be taken over by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox in a £11.7 billion deal.

Announcing the agreement on Thursday, the move helps mogul Murdoch, 85, consolidate his media empire across Europe and the US.

The Australian will buy the 61% share of Sky he does not already own to fully acquire its 22 million customers in Britain, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.

Murdoch stuck to his offer of £10.75 per share, despite complaints from some investors.

The agreed terms come five years after Murdoch failed in a previous bid to buy Sky - derailed after a newspaper hacking scandal involving his newspaper News of the World.

The deal will cost in the region of £11.7 billion Credit: Reuters

Fox said it would now pursue a Scheme of Arrangement, meaning it would need the backing of 75% of Sky's independent shareholders who vote to secure a deal that values Sky at £18.5 billion in total.

The two firms said last Friday they had struck a preliminary deal, with some issues still to be agreed.

But the price disappointed several top 50 shareholders who accused Sky of selling out to their founder and biggest shareholder too cheaply.

21st Century Fox believe the purchase will be completed before the end of 2017.

Lawyers expect the new deal to be approved by European and British authorities.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox said: "As the founding shareholder of Sky, we are proud to have participated in its growth and development.

"The strategic rationale for this combination is clear.

"It creates a global leader in content creation and distribution, enhances our sports and entertainment scale, and gives us unique and leading direct-to-consumer capabilities and technologies.

"It adds the strength of the Sky brand to our portfolio, including the Fox, National Geographic and Star brands.”