Sky wants ITV stake for 'long term'

Jeremy Darroch, CEO at BSkyB (and pictured, left), speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference in Barcelona Nov 12, said Sky wanted to hold onto its 17.9% stake in commercial broadcaster ITV for the long term.

"We have a few weeks left to decide what to do about the Competition Appeal Tribunal's decision,” he said. “And we're going to take those few weeks to decide," Darroch added. "But our position to be willing to hold the stake long-term hasn't changed."

In September the British government’s Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that Sky must trim its stake in ITV to no more than 7.5%. BSkyB has until December to decide whether to appeal this decision to the UK Court of Appeal.

Darroch declined to comment on how Sky would use the £400m just raised in a bond issue, coyly adding that Sky doesn’t need fresh acquisitions. "We're in a position where we can think of acquisitions more opportunistically. We'll buy something if we think it's going to help the business but we're not going to chase anything," he said.

Nevertheless, the market seems convinced that Italian broadband operator Tiscali is the acquisition target, with its tempting UK client list a near-perfect match to Sky’s own broadband ambitions.