Deal for pan-European Sky moves forward

BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch

BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch

UK pay TV operator BSkyB has hired Morgan Stanley and Barclays to advise on its plans to create a pan-European pay TV giant combining its operations with those of 21st Century Fox stable-mates Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, according to a Reuters report.

According to Reuters, citing a source familiar with the matter, both banks, which already advise BSkyB, are being retained for the proposed deal, which could see the creation of a single pan-European pay TV entity with close to 20 million subscribers.

BSkyB revealed last month that it is in preliminary talks that could see it buy 21st Century Fox’s 55% stake in Sky Deutschland and wholly-owned Sky Italia. The deal would see Fox retain its 39% in BSkyB at the same level in the enlarged company, avoiding crossing a threshold that would see it forced to bid for the company, something that could fall foul of UK regulators.

The UK Sunday Times, owned by 21st Century Fox’s sister company News Corp, yesterday reported that a deal could deliver a windfall of as much as €8.5 billion to 21st Century Fox.


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