Sky has acquired an additional tranche of shares in Sky Deutschland, opening the way to a potential de-listing of the German pay TV operator.
Sky has upped its stake in the German operator from the 90.04% it owned as of November 28 to 95.8% by acquiring 891,999,347 additional shares. Under German law, acquiring companies can use a corporate ‘squeeze-out’ procedure to delist the acquired firm if they own over 95% of its shares.
Sky has yet to announce whether it will seek to de-list Sky Deutschland, but such a move has been expected for some time.
Sky initially acquired the 57% owned of Sky Deutschland owned by 21st Century Fox last year. While the acquisition of a majority stake in the company was sufficient to enable it to realise synergies by creating a pan-European operation, full control was required to give it access to Sky Deutschland’s cash flows, which are expected to grow as the business makes further traction in the German market.
Sky now comprises pay TV operations across three countries – the UK, Germany and Italy – with about 20 million subscribers.