Advanced Television

News Corp will contemplate selling BSkyB stake

December 8, 2011

By Chris Forrester

Chase Carey, president/COO and deputy chairman of News Corp, made has told the UBS Global Media & Communications event that News isn’t happy to remain a minority shareholder in BSkyB, so if takeover is out then selling their stake is real possibility.

During the Q & A session Carey signalled that the $15 billion-worth of off-balance sheet assets that News Corp holds in assorted investments – but mostly in the form of BSkyB shares – were only generating a “sliver” of value back to News Corp, he said, hence the $12 billion bid earlier this year.

He explained that the need to fully own or otherwise monetise such assets would continue to be a focus for News Corp. “We are not getting anything, (not) a fraction of a credit, for that $15 billion [holding]. “I think it is one of the things we need to continue to figure out,” he added, “you want to head to places you either own, or monetize assets. We are [clearly] not an asset holding company.”

Carey would not be drawn on what sort of time frame News Corp had in mind, although said, “But directionally we are going to do that and have to be better at communicating that,” he added.

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