The low-hanging fruit for ‘Sky Europe’ is in Germany, says Berenberg Bank’s senior media analyst Sarah Simon. It is this fast-track expansion probability that means that BSkyB will quickly want to absorb the 42.6 per cent minority shareholding currently not under its control.
German take-over law allows a majority buyer (indeed anyone holding over 30 per cent) to offer the same price to everyone (currently €6.75). BSkyB’s CFO Andrew Griffith explained on July 25: “As required by German takeover law, we’re making an offer to the minority holdings in Sky Deutschland at the same price. As we’ve always said, our focus in this transaction remains the 57.4 percent holding, and there is therefore no acceptance condition.”
However, offering €6.75 isn’t going to get many takers by the look of it. Norddeutsche Landesbank is saying ‘Buy’ to its clients, and gives a target price of €9. Independent Rsearch GmbH suggests a target price of €7.70, while DZ-Bank AG, although not giving a ‘target’ price, does recommend a ‘Buy’ for the stock. However, and for the sake of balance, Bankhaus Lampe KG tells clients to ‘Sell’ and gives a target of just €6.