The lengthy takeover battle for Sky could drag on even longer after 21st Century Fox yesterday said it had extended the deadline for its offer to Sky shareholders.
Investors will now have until 6 October to vote on Fox's £14 per share bid. It follows rival suitor Comcast also extending the deadline for acceptances on its larger £14.75 per share offer until 6 October.
Fox, which already owns a 31 per cent stake in Sky, said on Monday it currently only has valid acceptances from shares representing about 0.07 per cent of the company for its £24.5bn offer.
Comcast's £26bn offer only has acceptances for 0.29 per cent of shares.
Both companies have until 22 September to table a knockout offer for the UK media titan.
If neither bid is accepted by the 6 October deadlines, the auction could go be decided in a highly unusual way - by sealed bid.
This would mean both companies compete in an auction run by the Takeover Panel, where neither bidder knows what the other has offered.
The highest bidder would then likely be declared the winner of the auction.