Sky cuts British part of name in European deal

Oliver Smith
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BRITISH and Broadcasting has been dropped by Britain’s largest Pay TV operator BSkyB as it adopted Sky as its official name yesterday after completing the £7bn takeover of its European sister companies, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.

Sky, now Europe’s largest entertainment company, said the change was “to recognise the international scope of the business” and its move towards entertainment and services other than broadcast TV.

“The three Sky businesses will be even better together,” said Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch, who will continue to lead the enlarged group.

“The opportunity ahead is substantial and we believe the new Sky will be good for customers, content creators and shareholders alike.”

Sky now counts 20m customers across Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Ireland, with a combined programme budget of £4.6bn.

Many minority Sky Deutschland shareholders, including Crispin Odey, who controlled an eight per cent stake in through his hedge fund Odey Asset Management, had said they would not accept Sky’s €6.75 per share offer, before later changing tack.

In the end, after acquiring 21st Century Fox’s nearly 57 per cent stake, Sky will control 89.7 per cent of Sky Deutschland.