Sky Deutschland changes its mind on BSkyB deal as it encourages shareholders not to sell

Emma Haslett
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Sky Deutschland's protests are unlikely to affect the creation of Sky Europe (Source: Getty)

After two-and-a-bit months of rumination, the board of Sky Deutschland has today decided BSkyB's €6.75 (£5.37) a share takeover offer wasn't enough.

After a fairness assessment by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sky Deutschland's supervisory and management boards put out a joint statement today criticising the offer, which is two per cent above the three-month volume weighted average price for the company's shares, the minimum offer required by German law.

In consideration of the information in this statement, the overall circumstances in connection with the offer and the objectives and intentions of the bidder, the management board and the supervisory board believe that the consideration offered by the bidder does not reflect the full potential and thus intrinsic value of Sky Deutschland's business.
Although it's arguably too late for the German company to prevent the deal going through, it nevertheless encouraged minority shareholders not to sell their shares to BSkyB.
But BSkyB says regardless of how many minority investors sell it their shares, it can still make the savings it had originally expected. It's also worth pointing out that the fewer shares it has to buy, the smaller its financial commitment will be - which should keep its own shareholders happy.
BSkyB agreed to buy the whole of Sky Italia and a 57.4 per cent stake in Sky Deutschland back in July, for a combined total of £7.35bn. The deal, which will create Europe's largest pay TV broadcaster, was originally part of a plan by owner Rupert Murdoch to finance the buyout of Time Warner, though these plans were scuppered by Time Warner's board, which refused to even discuss the bid.
Investors - including Murdoch's former son-in-law, Crispin Odey, who has an eight per cent stake in Sky Deutschland - have voiced their concerns about the deal.
In July he told City A.M. "not that many" Sky Deutschland shareholders would take up BSkyB's offer.

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