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Sky Deutschland Board Tells Investors Not to Sell to BSkyB

BSkyB’s takeover ambitions for Sky Deutschland are meeting some resistance after the German pay-TV operator’s board advised minority investors not to sell their shares.

The move won’t completely imperil BSkyB’s designs on the company and attempts to expand its reach in Europe. Last July, BSkyB hammered out a deal to buy 21st Century Fox’s majority stake in the company for $4.7 billion. In addition, BSkyB said it would buy out minority investors in Sky Deutschland for $8.75 or 6.75 euros a share, but the broadcaster’s board says that amount does not reflect the “intrinsic value of Sky Deutschland’s business.”

In addition to the statement, CEO Brian Sullivan said he will not accept the offer, and the two supervisory board members, Dr. Stefan Jentzsch and Harald Rösch, said they will not sell. They are the only board members with shares.

The offer to minority stakeholders was made because regulations required BSkyB to submit bids to all shareholders in order for its deal with Fox to go through.

21st Century Fox is an investor in BSkyB, maintaining a 39% stake. The company also bought Sky Italia as part of its July deal with Fox, and last week the purchases received approval from the European Union. The goal is to create a pan-European pay-TV giant boasting 19 million subscribers in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.

A BSkyB spokesperson said the company still expected to close its deal for a majority of Sky Deutschland this year.

“We note the statement by Sky Deutschland and we welcome their supportive comments on the strategic rationale for the transaction,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

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