UPDATE, May 12, 2014: “Over the years we’ve had numerous internal discussions regarding the organizational and ownership structure of the European Sky-branded satellite platforms,” a 21st Century Fox spokesperson said. “From time to time these conversations have included BSkyB, however no agreement between the parties has ever been reached.”
Rupert Murdoch is attempting to turn the already large British Sky Broadcasting Group into a massive European satellite-TV distributor.
BSkyB, the U.K.’s biggest pay-TV provider, is working on a $14 billion (10 billion euros) deal to acquire control of satellite carriers Sky Deutschland AG and Sky Italia from 21st Century Fox, Bloomberg reports.
The deal would add 8.5 million homes across Germany and Italy to BSkyB’s umbrella.
And it sounds like a potential win-win. After ridding itself of distribution, the proposed deal would leave Fox focused on entertainment programming, which could make it more attractive to investors who are only interested in financing video production.
Fox owns 55 percent of Sky Deutschland (valued at 3 billion euros), the entirety of Sky Italia (valued at 5 billion euros) and a partial ownership in BSkyB. The deal would leave Fox’s stake in BSkyB at 39 percent; the remaining two billion euros would be considered an offer premium.
Fox had previously attempted to take full control of the company in 2010, but dropped the attempt amid the 2011 scandal that alleged Murdoch-owned newspapers had hacked into celebrities’ phones and bribed police.
The companies have been in talks for months and a deal may be announced by this summer.
In 2013, News Corp. was split up, creating the independent 21st Century Fox in its current iteration.