BSkyB has today completed its £2.45 billion purchase of Sky Italia and announced its acquisition of 89.71% of Sky Deutschland’s shares.
The firm paid 21st Century Fox £2.07 billion in cash for Sky Italia and agreed to transfer its 21% stake in National Geographic Channel International. A further €5.50 billion was spent buying the Sky Deutschland shares which guarantee full control over the German firm.
Completion of the deal follows unconditional clearances from EU and local competition authorities.
Pay-TV penetration in both territories is considerably lower than in the UK where the satellite firm already dominates the market and is facing increased competition from the likes of Virgin Media, TalkTalk and BT.
To reflect it’s new multi-country operations, the business will change its name from British Sky Broadcasting Group plc to Sky plc.
CEO Jeremy Darroch will oversee the enlarged group as well as continuing to lead the UK and Ireland business while Andrew Griffith will be Group Chief Financial Officer. Andrea Zappia will continue to lead the business in Italy as Chief Executive of Sky Italia and Brian Sullivan remains Chief Executive of Sky Deutschland AG.
The new group will be able to leverage its combined buying power when bidding for rights to top entertainment and movie content, but is unlikely to enjoy similar advantages in sports where rights are normally sold in a region-specific auction.
It will serve 20 million customers across five countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland.
“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,” said Darroch.
“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.”