BSkyB advances plans to merge European TV assets

UK pay-TV firm BSkyB has enlisted Morgan Stanley and Barclays to advise on its plans to acquire German and Italian sister companies Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, in what would be a US$13.57 billion deal, according to Reuters. (Pictured: Rupert Murdoch)
June 16, 2014

UK pay-TV firm BSkyB has enlisted investment banks Morgan Stanley and Barclays to advise on its plans to acquire German and Italian sister companies Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in a €10 billion (US$13.57 billion) deal, according to a Reuters report.

The proposed deal would mean that BSkyB – 39% of which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s (pictured) 21st Century Fox, which would retain this stake  - acquires Fox-owned Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, of which Fox owns about 57%.

The merger would unite Murdoch’s European TV assets and create a pay-TV giant with 20 million subscribers.

According to Reuters, both Morgan Stanley and Barclays are already advisers to BSkyB, and are being employed for the proposed deal.

BSkyB confirmed the potential acquisition on May 12, saying in a statement that “this combination would have the potential to create a world-class multinational pay TV group.”

At that point, the company said a deal had not advanced beyond a preliminary stage, and no agreement had been reached “on terms, value or transaction structure,” adding that the deal was not yet certain. A BSkyB spokesperson decline to comment when contacted by realscreen today.


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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.