Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has reached an agreement to take over broadcaster Sky for £11.7 billion (€14 billion).

The Murdoch-controlled US media-entertainment giant has offered £10.75 per share in an all-cash offer for Sky, which represents a 40% premium on Sky’s share price on 6 December (when the offer was made).

Nasdaq-listed 21st Century Fox already owns a 39.1% stake in Sky, whose main five markets are Austria, Britain, Germany, Ireland, and Italy.

Sky has around 22m customers and 30,000 employees across Europe.

The deal, which shareholders will still have to vote on, comes five years after the media tycoon's last tilt at taking full control of the business through News Corporation.

That bid was derailed after the company - which owns The Sun and The Times - was forced to abandon the bid when it became embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal involving News International.

21st Century Fox said: "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."

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but 21st Century Fox expects the acquisition to be completed before the end of 2017.