BSkyB's German stake could get bigger on euro zone jitters

BSkyB will complete its merger with Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland next month

Gideon Spanier
Thursday 16 October 2014 15:13
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Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive Officer of BSkyB
Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive Officer of BSkyB

BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch has signalled the British pay-TV firm could end up with a larger-than-expected stake in Sky Deutschland as concerns about the German economy may encourage shareholders to sell.

Darroch, reporting an 11 per cent rise in quarterly profits to £316 million, said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a lot more take-up, and I think particularly the volatility we are seeing is probably making people reflect on that.”

BSkyB, which will complete its merger with Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland next month to create a pan-European giant, has already agreed to buy 57 per cent of the German firm from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

Sky Deutschland’s board recommended last month that independent shareholders should not accept the €6.75 (£5.40) per share offer, but sentiment is shifting amid an economic slowdown in Germany.

BSkyB’s revenues rose 6 per cent to £1.92 billion thanks to a surge in mobile and on-demand service Sky Go Extra and a “very strong quarter” from Sky Sports, with the Ryder Cup golf, pictured, and new football season.

Pre-tax profit nearly trebled as BSkyB banked a £429 million gain from selling its stake in ITV.

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