Sky Shares Rise 3% As Vivendi Takeover Speculation Mounts

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LONDON — Shares in European pay TV giant Sky rose 3% to £10.53 ($15.73) on Wednesday, after reports that it could become the target of a takeover by French conglom Vivendi, which owns pay TV operator Canal Plus and Universal Music.

Reuters, citing sources familiar with the matter, said that Sky could cost Vivendi as much as £28 billion ($41.5 billion), including debt.

U.K.-based Sky recently merged with its sister operations in Germany and Italy to create Europe’s biggest pay TV service with 20 million subscribers.

The view of Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore, who owns a 12% stake in the company, would determine whether a bid is made. “Ultimately what determines a deal is Vincent Bollore,” one of the sources said.

It is understood that some of Vivendi’s senior executives are not keen to pursue a takeover of Sky as it would make the company too reliant on the pay TV business. They would prefer to expand in the digital media space.

On Tuesday, Vivendi entered into exclusive negotiations to buy 80% of video-sharing website Dailymotion for 217 million euros ($236 million).

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