Sky Deutschland sells stake

Jörn Krieger

German pay-TV operator Sky has sold its 14.4% stake in auction channel to the other shareholders in the free-to-air service, the broadcaster announced in its 2009 half-yearly financial report. Through the sale, which will become effective on August 28, Sky will earn around €2 million.

Sky acquired the shares in August 2007, paying around €10 million according to industry sources. The move was part of a strategy devised by former management to create further footholds in order to reduce the dependency on pay-TV. However, many of acquisitions turned out to be loss-making ventures.

The new major shareholder News Corp is steering Sky back to its pay-TV roots and has pulled out of numerous engagements outside the core market over previous months. The stakes in online shop Home of Hardware and the internet sports portal Spox were sold, while free-to-air channel GIGA was closed down.