David Prosser: Murdoch's most expensive victory

Saturday 05 March 2011 01:00

Outlook: The price of BSkyB keeps rising.News Corp initially put 700p on the table, but now that it has received clearance from theCulture Secretary it will know that it is not going to buy the company at that price, however fiercely Murdoch's people are briefing that the offer reflects their in-depth knowledge of Sky. What it may not have banked upon, however, is the determination of some Sky shareholders to extract ever last penny of value from the deal – and then to ask for some more.

The word in the City yesterday was that leading Sky investors want 1100p a share from theMurdochs. That's getting on for £3 more than the current market price, though the stock has been rising all week, and it's almost double the 600p or so at which Sky was trading before News Corp made its intentions known early in the summer of last year.

Will News Corp really have to pay so much? 1100p seems wildly optimistic on the part of investors, but it is becoming clearer by the day that the regulatory victory may turn out to have been the easy part of clinching this deal.

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