21st Century Fox could agree to sell Sky Italia and its 57% stake in Sky Deutschland to BSkyB in the next two weeks. This, reports Reuters, could help it lodge a higher bid for Time Warner.
Just last week, 21st Century Fox confirmed it had made a formal proposal to Time Warner in June to combine the two companies, with reports valuing its bid at $80 billion.
Reuters adds that the assets Fox is considering selling could be valued at around €10 billion, adding that the company owns a 39% stake in BSkyB.
Quoting people familiar with the matter, it also says that no final decision has yet been made on whether to increase Fox’s offer for Time Warner.
Significantly, quoting a report in The Sunday Times, Reuters also says that BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch is close agreeing a price for the purchase of Fox’s European assets.
A deal would strengthen Sky’s position in Germany and Italy, where Sky reaches a combined total of 8.5 million cable and satellite homes.
It would also streamline Fox’s European assets to cable and broadcast networks, along with movie and TV studios, which would be more attractive to investors.