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British pay TV giant BSkyB said Monday that it will end up owning at least 69 percent of Sky Deutschland, the German pay TV group it agreed to acquire as part of a pan-European buyout of assets owned by Rupert Murdoch‘s 21st Century Fox.
The U.K. giant agreed this summer to pay $9 billion for Fox’s 57 percent stake in Sky Deutschland, as well as full control of Sky Italia, an Italian pay TV company.
BSkyB management last week had signaled that Sky Deutschland minority shareholders had also started to accept the buyout offer. on Monday, it said that so many minority investors of Sky Deutschland have accepted its takeover bid that it will end up owning at least a 69 percent stake in the German group by the end of the takeover period. Under German law, a company bidding for majority control of a stock market-listed firm has to make a buyout bid for the remaining shares.
Last month, Sky Deutschland and its CEO Brian Sullivan urged shareholders to reject BSkyB’s offer, saying its $8.75 a-share price tag did not reflect the “full potential and thus intrinsic value of Sky Deutschland’s business.“ Sullivan, who owns shares in both Sky Deutschland and BSkyB, said he would not sell his stock as part of the proposed takeover.
Remaining Sky Deutschland shareholders have until Nov. 3 to accept BSkyB’s offer.
The combination of the three Sky operations will create a pay TV giant reaching 20 million subscribers across Europe. Murdoch, while selling off his continental assets, will remain a major shareholder in BSkyB, with a 39 percent stake.
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