News Corp buys controlling stake in Sky Deutschland

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp said Monday it has agreed to raise its holding in Sky Deutschland to a controlling stake.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp said Monday it has agreed to raise its holding in Sky Deutschland to a controlling stake.

The media giant increased its interest in the German pay TV company to 54.5% from 49.9% by buying shares for €347.4m.

News Corp will buy 77.9m new shares at €4.46 each, a 3% discount to Friday's closing price.

The deal follows an attempt by News Corp in 2010 to purchase the remaining 61% interest in Britain's BskyB which fell through after a phone hacking scandal at Murdoch's now defunct tabloid newspaper News of the World.

News Corp has received pressure from shareholders to sell its troubled newspaper business and put a greater focus on TV companies.

The media conglomerate hopes Sky Deutschland will turn out like BSkyB, which has about 10m customers and posted a record full-year adjusted operating profit up 14% to £1.2bn in July.

News Corp has invested about €1bn in Sky Deutschland since 2008 but it has only made profit in one year since it was founded in the early 1990s.

Sky Deutschland expects to rebound this year after News Corp agreed to grant guarantees for half of the licence fee that it is paying for rights to broadcast German soccer league games.

Shares in Sky Deutschland were up 2.39% to €4.66 at 13:31 Monday.

RD

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