BSkyB is dropping “British” and “Broadcasting” from its name, to become just Sky as it announces the completion of a £7bn deal to acquire Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.
The media company, which becomes one of the largest pay TV operators in Europe, said the name change reflected the new international scope of the business. Its listing on the London Stock Exchange will change from BSY to SKY.
Sky boss Jeremy Darroch will lead the combined group as group chief executive in addition to leading the business in UK and Ireland. UK finance boss Andrew Griffiths will also step up to lead the group’s finances.
The business in Italy and Germany will continue to be led by their respective chiefs, Andrea Zappia and Brian Sullivan.
The new international Sky business will serve 20m customers across the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria and employ 31,000 staff. Its combined programming spend will total £4.6m.
The deal increased its debts, however, growing from £2.7bn at the end of the last financial year to £7bn causing Moody's to downgrade its credit rating.
The three Sky businesses will be even better together. We have the opportunity to create a business that can lead and shape our industry in the future. Customers will benefit as we launch exciting new services, bring them even more great TV and accelerate innovation across all of the markets in which we operate.
By joining together, we will share our strengths and expertise while retaining a strong identity in each country where we operate. The opportunity ahead is substantial and we believe the new Sky will be good for customers, content creators and shareholders alike.