Sky Italia boss denies talk of IPO


NEMI, Italy -- The CEO of Sky Italia, the country's leading satellite television provider, on Thursday quashed speculation that the company is planning an initial public offering and said that the company expects to add at least 300,000 new subscribers before mid-2008.

Tom Mockridge said that reports that Sky Italia -- a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. -- was planning to list shares on the Milan-based Italian Stock Exchange were false.

"There are no plans for an IPO at this time," Mockridge said in a statement.

Additionally, Mockridge said that the company expects its subscriber base to reach 4.5 million by the end of June. That's more than the 4.2 million the company reported in its annual report at the end of June of this year.

Sky Italia is by far the country's leading satellite television broadcaster, but it still trails state broadcaster RAI and Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset -- both traditional broadcasters which operate three national networks each -- in terms of revenue and market share.