Friday 4 December 2015

Sky's the limit - part 2

A lot has been made of the quote that James Murdoch gave to the Hollywood Reporter a few months ago.

Indeed, the quote appears to have triggered banker gossip - highlighted by the Financial Times yesterday - that perhaps the Murdochs/Fox are sellers of the 40pc stake in Sky.

I have pasted the quote below in case you don't remember or haven't read the relevant paragraph from the Hollywood Reporter article:

Let's talk about those changes. International TV is seen as a growth area, and most believe you're going to finally buy the rest of Sky that you don't already own. 
JAMES The Sky businesses, we've only just brought them all together into one big European platform [Sky Plc]. That integration is going really well. The company is moving at a very fast pace and has grown in value enormously. We've also been clear that over time, having 40 percent of an unconsolidated asset is not an end state that is natural for us. Right now, we're 100 percent focused on supporting the company to get this integration going and get it done for the business to move forward, so there are no plans on the agenda right now.

But let's not forget that when asked at Morgan Stanley investor conference whether BSkyB wanted to increase its stake Sky Deutschland, James Murdoch in February 2013 said that "there is some unfinished business there but there are no immediate plans," adding that News Corp also had no imminent plans to increase its shareholding further, according to a report in the Financial Times by Andrew Edgecliff-Johnson. Here is a link to that report:

And what happened a year later: BSkyB bid for the rest of Sky Deutschland to create a pan European pay-tv operator...

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