Deal pegged at $9BN | Britain’s BSkyB has agreed to pay $9 billion to buy the Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV companies Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, thereby gaining control over 20 million pay-TV customers across Europe.
Murdoch will, however, continue to maintain a foothold in the European pay-TV business through 21st Century Fox’s 39 per cent stake in BSkyB.
“The new Sky will be a worldclass, multinational pay-TV business headquartered in the UK, anchored in Europe,” said BSkyB’s chief executive, Jeremy Darroch. “It’s the right time for Sky to make this move and we think it can create a lot of value for shareholders.” The merger better positions BSkyB to compete with John Malone, a long-time Murdoch rival who is building Liberty Media into Europe’s largest cable television business with control of Virgin Media and a slice of ITV in the UK. It also provides a buttress against the growing distribution might of Apple, Google, Amazon and Netflix.