Sky fit for big match after gaming sale


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The Independent Online

Sky added up to £800m to its war-chest for Premier League rights and a potential swoop for a mobile operator yesterday with the sale of its Sky Bet online gaming business.

The deal gives the satellite broadcaster £600m in cash from the private equity buyer CVC, and up to £120m more depending on the performance of the UK’s fifth-biggest gambling site, which has 1 million customers. Sky also retains a 20 per cent equity stake in the business.

The sale comes four months after the chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, spent £7bn buying Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, pulling off the company’s biggest deal in 25 years to push deep into European markets.

CVC’s cash will add ballast to the balance sheet before the next Premier League auction early in the new year. It could also help fund a tilt at a mobile network after Sky appointed Lazard to weigh options. Deal frenzy has gripped the telecoms sector since BT confirmed bid talks with O2 and EE to enter the mobile market.