Sky Europe fails to find support for takeover bid

Oliver Smith
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BSkyB could find itself struggling to persuade Sky Deutschland’s investors to tender their shares as part of its £4.9bn Sky Europe takeover deal, according to the German broad­caster’s largest independent shareholder.

Crispin Odey, who controls an eight per cent stake in Sky Deutschland through his hedge fund Odey Asset Management, said he would not accept BSkyB’s offer.

He told City A.M. “I think we will prefer to have quite a bit of money still with Sky Deutsch­land because we think that is the growth part of the portfolio.”

Odey said he expected “not that many” Sky Deutschland shareholders would take up BSkyB’s €6.75 per share offer that offered little premium on Deutschland’s share price.

Last week, Taube Hodson Stonex Partners, a top five Sky Deutschland shareholder, also indicated that it would not accept the current offer as it stands.

BSkyB’s takeover will still go through in spite of minority shareholder rejection and BSkyB says it will still extract synergies from the deal.

Despite his position, Odey says the so-called Sky Europe deal is still a positive for BSkyB as it will enable the buying and selling of content across Europe. He expects BSkyB not to continue raising its offers for premium sporting content such as the Premier League and instead reach wholesale deals with other interested parties such as BT.

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