France’s Vivendi has denied a report that it is looking to buy the pay-TV group Sky. The rebuttal, published by Bloomberg, comes after Reuters, quoting three sources, said that Vivendi is considering the acquisition of Sky as one of several options to expand Canal+ group.
It added that the French company had turned its attention to Sky after having reviewed smaller potential acquisitions in Turkey and other fast-growing markets in Europe.
Although Sky has a market capitalisation of £17.6 billion, Vivendi would have to pay in the region of £28 billion, including debt, to secure the group.
Reuters said that deliberations are at an early stage and any deal would have to meet with the approval of Vincent Bolloré, Vivendi’s chairman and leading (12%) shareholder.
There would also be concerns within Vivendi that such an acquisition, were it to go ahead, would leave the company too exposed in the pay-TV sector.
Vivendi is currently in exclusive negotiations to buy an 80% stake in Dailymotion for €217 million.
The deal would diversify its portfolio and sits better with some shareholders than any move for Sky.
Sky currently has around 20 million subscribers in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.
Meanwhile, shares in Sky rose up to 1,069p this morning (April 8), up from the previous day’s close of 1,023p, amid the speculation of a possible bid by Vivendi.