BSkyB in £4.9bn deal for Sky Italia, Sky Deutschland

If approved by regulators, the UK pay-TV firm's deal to buy Sky Italia and the majority of Sky Deutschland would increase its subscription base from 11.7 million to 20 million subscribers.
July 25, 2014

UK pay-tv firm BSkyB has bought Sky Italia from 21st Century Fox and has acquired a 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland, in a bid to become the leading pay-TV provider in three of Europe’s four largest markets.

The purchase prices includes a £4.9 billion (US$8.3 billion) cash consideration to 21st Century Fox (£2.45 billion of which is for Sky Italia, and £2.08 billion of which will be paid in cash) and the transfer to the company of BSkyB’s 21% stake  in the National Geographic Channel (worth £382 million).

The acquisition of 21 Century Fox’s 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland is valued at £2.9 billion, with minority shareholders being offered €6.75 (US$9.08) per share.

The transactions, which are subject to regulatory and independent shareholder approval, will unite three pay-TV businesses that will serve some 20 million customers – up from BSkyB’s current 11.7 million subscriber base. The deal would allow BSkyB to build on its existing UK and Ireland business.

On an aggregated basis, group revenues will increase from BSkyB’s standalone £7.6 billion to £11.2 billion with the additions.

“This transaction will create a world class, multinational pay TV business with enhanced headroom for growth and immediate benefits of scale,” said Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB’s chief executive, in a statement. “The three Sky businesses are leaders in their home markets and will be even stronger together. By creating the new Sky, we will be able to use our collective strengths and expertise to serve customers better, grow faster and enhance returns.”

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.