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BSkyB completes Sky Europe takeover, rebrands as ‘Sky’

Sky logoBSkyB has completed its takeover of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, with the new combined company to be known simply as Sky.

The new company will be listed on the London stock exchange and will be headed by Jeremy Darroch, CEO of BSkyB, with Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan and Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia retaining their current roles. Andrew Griffith will be group chief financial officer.

The name change will be subject to approval by BSkyB’s shareholders at their annual meeting on November 21, but the company’s stock exchange ticker will change to SKY from tomorrow.

BSkyB has acquired 89.71% of Sky Deutschland’s shares, with 87.45% acquired through its offer process and the balance acquired afterwards for a total of €5.63 billion.

Sky Italia was acquired for a total of £2.45 billion (€3.12 billion), make up of £2.07 billion in cash, with the balance acquired through the sale of BSkyB’s 21% stake in National Geographic Channels International to 21st Century Fox.

The latter will hold a 39.1% stake in Sky, the same proportion it previously held in BSkyB.

The removal of the words ‘British’ and ‘Broadcasting’ from the company’s name reflect the internationalisation of the business and its migration from a ‘broadcasting’ company to one that distributes content over multiple platforms. The name BSkyB was the legacy of the original Sky’s merger with rival British Satellite Broadcasting at the start of the 1990s.

The enlarged group will serve 20 million customers across five countries – Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland – employing 31,000 staff.

Sky said the combined entity collectively has annual revenues of over £11 billion and spends £4.6 billion on TV content.

“The three Sky businesses will be even better together. We have the opportunity to create a business that can lead and shape our industry in the future. Customers will benefit as we launch exciting new services, bring them even more great TV and accelerate innovation across all of the markets in which we operate,” said Darroch.

“By joining together, we will share our strengths and expertise while retaining a strong identity in each country where we operate. The opportunity ahead is substantial and we believe the new Sky will be good for customers, content creators and shareholders alike.”