Britain’s BSkyB has agreed to pay 4.9 billion pounds (US$8.3 billion) to take over Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, in a deal that will create a European media powerhouse, Reuters reported Friday.
BSkyB, in which Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is also the top shareholder, will pay for the acquisition with cash, debt and a share placement, the report said.
Facing the toughest market conditions in its 25-year history, BSkyB has decided that its future growth lies in creating a European pay-TV leader, it said.
BSkyB broadcasts to 10 million homes in the UK, while a combined Sky Europe would have 20 million customers, the BBC noted.
21st Century Fox, meanwhile, is expected to use the proceeds from its assets sale in Europe to pursue a quest in the United States for Time Warner, which recently rejected Fox’s initial US$80 billion bid.
Fox owns 100 percent of Sky Italia, 57 percent of Sky Deutschland and 39 percent of BSkyB, according to Reuters.
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