News Corp is remaining firm on its £7.8 billion (€9.41 billion) offer for the 60% of BSkyB the media giant does not already own. In an investor call on Wednesday News Corp deputy chairman Chase Carey described the bid, rejected by BSkyB’s independent board as “full and fair.”
“We’ve been able to sit with our current investments for many years and have other options for our cash,” said Carey.
In June 2010, News Corp announced it has made a 700 pence per share cash offer for the BSkyB shares it did not already own. Although the two companies were unable to agree on the price, they did enter a cooperation agreement.
Rather than discussing any possible premium, Carey said the immediate focus was on getting regulatory approval for the transaction. A filing with the European authorities in Brussels is due to be made in the next few weeks, a process expected to take up to a month, and potentially triggering a second two month stage before being handed to UK regulators.
News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch gave his backing to Sky Deutschland where the company is underwriting a €340 million cash injection. “Germany is far the biggest and richest market in Europe. We now have a management team we have great confidence in and we’re going to see it through,” said Murdoch.
The international channels business, which includes Fox Life and National Geographic is seeing significant growth particularly in Latin America and Asia, contributing an additional 40% in earnings.