Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is looking to sell Italian and German Sky assets, alongside the potential sale of stake in BSkyB, to further their efforts to acquire Time Warner, the multinational media corporation.
Time Warner is not to be confused with Time Warner Cable (TWC), the company Comcast is currently trying to acquire for around $40 billion. The two companies split a few years ago, but TWC maintained the same name.
Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner could be twice the bid Comcast put for TWC. Fox failed to succeed with a bid for $85 per share, pricing Time Warner at $75 billion, but Fox is apparently open to higher offers and will grab more money from Sky assets.
Fox currently owns the Sky Italia unit and is prepared to sell the 57 percent stake in Sky Deutschland, said to be worth around $13.5 billion. BSkyB will buy the two branches, in order to strengthen the company’s revenue.
In addition to the two branches of Sky, Fox is mulling over selling the 39 percent of BSkyB, freeing themselves of the British broadcasting company. This would give Fox less of a cluttered portfolio, which might lure more investors.
The 39 percent of BSkyB holds a market value of just under $10 billion, money Fox would need if they go through with the Time Warner acquisition, which could surpass $80 billion, if the leaders of Time Warner do not crack in the next deal.
BSkyB’s CEO Jeremy Darroch is looking to acquire the stock back from Fox, the two sides are still working on a price. Given Fox’s need for money, BSkyB might be able to get a good deal for the stock, strengthening the hold of the public company.
The deal would still have to go through the FCC and other agencies in the United States. Both Comcast and AT&T currently have deals waiting to be approved and the US public does not approve of either, although Comcast is getting more flak, due to the poor service of both ISPs.