BSkyB picks banks for plan to unite European TV businesses

LONDON Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:01am EDT

A projection of singer Emeli Sande is seen in the Sky television studios booth during the BRIT Awards at the O2 Centre in London February 20, 2013. Picture taken February 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A projection of singer Emeli Sande is seen in the Sky television studios booth during the BRIT Awards at the O2 Centre in London February 20, 2013. Picture taken February 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - British satellite broadcaster BSkyB (BSY.L) is being advised by Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Barclays (BARC.L) on plans to create a pan-European operator by acquiring its German and Italian sister companies, a source familiar with the matter said.

BSkyB is looking to buy Sky Deutschland (SKYDn.DE) and Sky Italia in a 10 billion euro deal that would realize long-held ambitions by media magnate Rupert Murdoch to combine his European TV assets.

The potential tie-up would create a pan-European giant with 20 million subscribers.

According to the source, both banks already act as advisers to the broadcaster and are being retained for the proposed transaction.

The latest proposal would see BSkyB, 39 percent owned by 21st Century Fox (FOXA.O), buy Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, which are 100 percent and about 55 percent owned by Fox, respectively.

BSkyB said in May that talks were still preliminary and no agreement had been reached on terms, value or transaction structure.

"BSkyB believes at the right value, this combination would have the potential to create a world-class multinational pay TV group," the group said.

(Reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by Jane Barrett and Stephen Powell)

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