RUPERT Murdoch’s News Corp tightened its grip on Sky Deutschland yesterday, saying it would raise its stake in the German pay-TV company to 54.5 per cent from just under half, buying up €347m (£288.6m) of new stock in a capital increase.
The move comes as media conglomerate News Corp separates its publishing and entertainment assets into two publicly traded companies following shareholder pressure to sell its troubled newspaper business and put a greater focus on the faster-growing TV companies.
It also follows an attempt in 2010 by News Corp to snap up the 61 per cent of BSkyB that it did not already own. That deal was eventually scuppered by the phone hacking scandal, but it indicated the group’s intentions around pay-TV.
News Corp is hoping Sky Deutschland will turn out like BSkyB, which has amassed over 10m customers and grown adept at selling increasing numbers of services to them.