Sky Deutschland Advises Against BSkyB Takeover Bid17 Sep, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Rupert Murdoch’s plan to unite European Sky satellite TV operations into a unified service with more than 20 million subscribers took a hit Sept. 17 when the supervisory and executive boards from Sky Deutschland advised minority shareholders against voting for the deal.
Murdoch’s BSkyB in July offered $8.3 billion to acquire 21st Century Fox’s Sky Italia and 57% stake in Sky Deutschland. Murdoch owns 21st Century Fox, which in turn owns 39% of BSkyB.
In a detailed filing, Sky Deutschland’s boards said Murdoch’s 6.75 euros per share secondary offer to minority shareholders "doesn't reflect the long-term potential nor the internal value of Sky Deutschland."
Indeed, the satellite TV operator holds exclusive broadcast rights to the German Bundesliga professional soccer league, in addition to Hollywood movies and Netflix’s “House of Cards” from series producer Sony Pictures Television.
At the same time, the filing acknowledged benefits of Sky Deutschland working together with BSkyB, albeit as separate companies, with the former focusing on its “in-depth knowledge of the German-speaking pay-TV market,” and BSkyB contributing “scale, scope and experience.”
European antitrust authorities have already approved Murdoch’s offer, which expires Oct. 15, saying it would not stifle pay-TV competition or adversely affect consumers.