Media groups reduce BSkyB stakeholding
But analysts insisted the move cleared the way for Pearson, which is busy shuffling its television interests since the arrival of new chief executive Marjorie Scardino this year, to make a final exit from BSkyB.
The three media companies plan to use the tax benefits from the sale to buy the 6 per cent of BSBH they do not already own.
The sale price was not disclosed, though the 19.5 million shares sold to BZW for placing with institutional investors would be worth just over pounds 123m at BSkyB's closing share price of 632p, down 1p. The biggest beneficiary from the proposed restructuring will be London Merchant Securities, the property and investment group. LMS said the plans would result in it realising not less than pounds 62m in the summer for its entire investment in BSBH, compared with a current book value of pounds 8.1m.
Other shareholders in BSBH, including Lord Hollick's United News & Media, will receive about pounds 4m from the deal. Following the sale, BSBH will own 220.6 million shares in BSkyB, representing about 12.8 per cent. Pearson sold its 9.75 per cent stake in BSkyB almost two years ago, but still retains an indirect holding of 4.3 per cent through BSBH worth pounds 467m.
Analysts said that having resolved the problem of minority shareholders in BSBH, Pearson had to find a way of avoiding a massive capital gains tax bill which would be incurred from selling the rest of its BSkyB stake.
In 1995 the High Court dismissed a pounds 170m claim by LMS against four shareholders in the former British Satellite Broadcasting group over the terms of its merger with Rupert Murdoch's Sky group to form BSkyB.
Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
Exclusive: Suspect was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.