Sky Deutschland minority shareholder – and Rupert Murdoch’s former son-in-law – Crispin Odey has rejected BSkyB’s offer to buy the outstanding shares in the Germany pay TV operator, saying it significantly undervalues the company.
Fund manager Odey is Sky Deutschland’s second largest shareholder with a stake of around 8%. BSkyB has already indicated that its acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s 57% stake in the company will allow it to exercise sufficient control to realise its ambitions. However, failure to buy the remaining shares will prevent the company from gaining access to Sky Deutschland’s cash flows, which are expected to grow as it makes headway in the German market.
BBSkyB has declined to offer a premium for the outstanding shares in Sky Deutschland following the announcement of its £5 billion agreement to acquire 21st Century Fox’s stake in the company and 100% control of Italian pay TV unit Sky Italia.
Odey’s stock market statement reiterates earlier comments about Sky’s bid for the German sister company. “Odey Asset Management LLP continues to believe that the current proposal, effectively a nil premium takeover offer to the minority shareholders of Sky Deutschland AG, significantly understates the value of the company,” the company said. “Consequently, Odey Asset Management LLP does not intend to tender its shares in this proposed offer.”
Odey told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that he believed Sky Deutschland’s stock was undervalued on a three-year basis as the Germany pay TV market is expected to grow significantly.