BSkyB confirms 21st Century Fox asset acquisition plans
| 12 May 2014
UK pay-TV giant BSkyB has confirmed rumours that it is looking to acquire 21st Century Fox's interests in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.
In a statement, the company said that it had entered into preliminary discussions with the Rupert Murdoch-led media firm to evaluate the potential acquisition of its pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy. Specifically it would buy out 21st Century Fox's 57% controlling stake in Sky Deutschland, pointing out that, at the right value, by boosting its assets in this way it would have the potential to create what called a world-class multinational pay-TV group.
"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," the company's statement added.
Analysts have valued the deal at around €10 billion and would leave BSkyB — in which 21st Century Fox holds a 39% stake — as a pan-European pay-TV giant, better able to strike more cost-effective deals, principally in negotiating for football rights.
However, BSkyB stressed that discussions have not progressed beyond a preliminary stage and no agreement had been reached on terms, value or transaction structure. Nor, it added, was there any certainty that a transaction will occur as it is subject to a number of gating factors such as regulatory issues and the Sky Deutschland share price continuing to trade on an undisturbed basis.