U.K.’s BSkyB fills war-chest

Company to raise $600 million

Europe’s biggest paybox BSkyB will raise about $600 million in a bond issue to institutional investors to provide coin for possible acquisitions and the refinancing of existing debt.

The satcaster, regarded as being less exposed to the recession because only about 5% of its total revenue comes from advertising, said the new funds would be used for “general corporate purposes.”

In recent weeks BSkyB, which recently announced it is preparing to launch an online version of its pay TV service, has been linked to two possible acquisitions that would strengthen its position in Blighty’s broadband market.

At the beginning of November Italian broadband provider Tiscali confirmed it was in talks with the paybox regarding the sale of its U.K. assets for a reported $675 million.

BSkyB also has been linked to the possible acquisition of TalkTalk, the broadband and telephone business run by U.K. cell phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, which confirmed Tuesday that it may split off these two parts of its activities.

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