Sky to Sell Controlling Stake in Betting Unit for Up to $1.13 Billion

BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch Headshot - P 2012
Courtesy of BSkyB

BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch Headshot - P 2012

The deal with private equity group CVC values Sky Bet at $1.3 billion

European pay TV giant Sky has agreed to sell a controlling stake in its betting unit, Sky Bet, for up to $1.13 billion in a deal that values the unit at $1.26 billion.

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners will acquire an 80 percent stake in it for $940 million (600 million pounds) in cash upon completion of the deal, plus up to $190 million (120 million pounds) in deferred and contingent payments depending on certain conditions later, the companies said on Thursday. The deal overall values the arm at 800 million pounds.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

"In the last 10 years, we have successfully grown Sky Bet from a start-up to one of the leading online betting and gaming companies in the U.K.," said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch. "This transaction will allow us to focus further on the substantial growth opportunities in our core international pay TV business while realizing significant value for our shareholders.”

Sky, formerly BSkyB, was formed recently when U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB acquired Sky Italia and a vast majority of Sky Deutschland from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox to create a pan-European pay TV giant. Fox continues to own a 39 percent stake in Sky.

More to come ...