BSkyB Raises $800 Million, Analysts See Potential for Acquisitions

BSkyB Satellite - Sign - 2010
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The U.K. pay TV giant, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake, has made some technology investments.


LONDON - U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB said Tuesday that it has raised $800 million in a debt deal that gives it additional capital for general corporate purposes and possible acquisitions.

The company, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake, said it would use the proceeds of the bond offering for general corporate purposes, the refinancing of its existing debt under more attractive conditions, as well as "acquisitions of businesses and/or assets in support of the issuer's strategy."

The company didn't comment further.

"BSkyB already has significant levels of liquidity," UBS analyst Polo Tang said. "Hence, it is not 100 percent clear why BSkyB needs to build up further liquidity unless it was planning M&A or notable investment." He didn't immediately suggest specific acquisition targets or areas of investment, but has in the past highlighted the company's addition of technology features.

Another analyst, who didn't want to be named, suggested the pay TV giant could simply hold on to the new financing in case further technology investment opportunities open up.

For example, BSkyB earlier this year bought a 10 percent stake in social TV platform Zeebox, whose technology allows users of tablets, smartphones and PCs to see who else is watching TV shows and interact with them.