BSkyB considers Digital Plus bid
July 7, 2008
BSkyB has confirmed it is considering a bid of more than E2.5 billion for Digital Plus, the Spanish pay-television platform. However, as reported in advanced-television.com, there is debate at News Corp over funding priorities as it determines how to expand its European pay-TV business. News Corp, 39 per cent owner of Sky, is currently pursuing a takeover of Germany's Premiere.
Digital Plus ultimate parent Grupo Prisa is expected to auction it later this year. News Corp might find it difficult to fund both deals and so will let Sky go after Digital Plus while it completes on Premiere.
Prisa, Spain’s largest media company and the owner of El Pais, is expected to sell Digital Plus to repay debts incurred in this year’s highly-priced buy-out of other shareholders in Sogecable, the television group that owns Digital Plus and Cuatro, the free-to-air channel.
BSkyB or News Corp could face strong competition for the Spanish assets. Potential bidders for Digital Plus are expected to include Vivendi, TelefÃ³nica, ONO and Orange