BSkyB has lost an appeal against having to sell its stake in the commercial broadcaster ITV. As a result, it will now have to reduce the stake from 17.9% to below 7.5%. It has also been denied the right to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.
Sky’s acquisition of a 17.9% stake in ITV for £940 million (€1.08 billion) in November 2006 was believed to have been made by the satellite broadcaster to prevent its main competitor Virgin Media, then known as NTL, from merging with ITV.
Today’s ruling by the Court of Appeal is the fourth since the acquisition and has left Sky facing a loss of £537 million, at current share prices, on its initial outlay.
Potential buyers in Sky’s stake are believed to include RTL, Mediaset, Blackstone and Haim Saban.