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BSkyB has made its formal offer of €6.75 per share to acquire the outstanding shares in Sky Deutschland. It is already assured of 21st Century Fox’s 57.4 per cent holding in the broadcaster.
But it is now fair to say that the fun might begin. A number of other shareholders have very publicly stated that they will not be accepting this first offer, not least Crispin Odey of Odey Asset Management.
However, under German stock market rules BSkyB can, if it wishes, convert this “voluntary” invitation for shareholders to sell their stock to a mandatory offer. However, it could be that the remaining smaller shareholders could hold onto their stock and demand dividends from Sky.
Back at the beginning of August Berenberg Bank said: “In time, we expect BSkyB to seek full ownership of SkyD: when minority shareholders begin pushing for dividends, thus creating a cash leakage situation for BSkyB. Timing-wise, we think this will coincide with BSkyB being sufficiently delevered to complete a minority buyout. We estimate this will not be until 2018, however. We continue to see SkyD as one of the most attractive stories in European media, but fear that the share price may not reflect the fundamentals until the time comes for the minorities to be bid for.”