May 122014

Further to our post this morning :

BSkyB confirms talks to buy Sky Germany and Sky Italy – Sky Europe?

BSkyB has confirmed it is in discussion with Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox over the potential acquisition of its pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy which it said would create a “world-class multinational pay-TV group”.

BSkyB said it had begun “preliminary discussions” in the tie-up, which it is estimated would cost around €10bn.

The UK and Ireland-based satellite broadcaster said a deal would involve buying Fox’s 57% controlling stake in Sky Deutschland before launching a mandatory takeover of the remaining stake. Fox owns 100% of Sky Italia.

A statement issued on Monday, BSkyB said

“BSkyB has a clear set of plans to grow its business in the UK and Ireland, is executing these well and expects to continue to achieve excellent growth and returns for shareholders. At the same time, the company continuously explores ways to create further value for shareholders,” it said.

“As part of this approach, the company initiated preliminary discussions with 21st Century Fox to evaluate the potential acquisition of its pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy. BSkyB believes at the right value, this combination would have the potential to create a world-class multinational pay-TV group.

“These discussions have not progressed beyond a preliminary stage, no agreement has been reached on terms, value or transaction structure and there is no certainty that a transaction will occur.

“Any potential agreement would be subject to external factors including the Sky Deutschland share price continuing to trade on an undisturbed basis.

“BSkyB’s focus in respect of Sky Deutschland would be to acquire 21st Century Fox’s controlling stake (57% on a fully diluted basis). As a consequence BSkyB would be required to make a takeover offer to the public minority of Sky Deutschland in accordance with relevant German legislation. BSkyB would expect, subject to German minimum offer price rules, to make this offer without a premium.

“All board discussion of this topic is solely within a committee composed of the independent directors of BSkyB, in which directors affiliated with 21st Century Fox do not participate.”


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