As reported last week, Odey Asset Management, which is Sky Deutschland’s 2nd-largest shareholder with 8 per cent of the business (after 21st Century Fox’s 57 per cent) is firmly rejecting the €6.75 per share offered by BSkyB.
Odey argues that the amount on offer is “effectively a nil premium takeover offer”. Odey’s statement to the Stock Exchange said: “Odey Asset Management LLP continues to believe that the current proposal, effectively a nil premium takeover offer to the minority shareholders of Sky Deutschland AG, significantly understates the value of the company”.
It now seems that we are in for a battle of wills given that BSkyB’s CFO Andrew Griffith last week said that BSkyB would not chase down the minority [shareholders]. “We are content with 57 per cent if that is what we end up with”.
However, there are serious consequences for BSkyB if it does not win 100 percent ownership of Sky Deutschland. Top of the list is that it would not gain access to Sky Deutschland’s accumulated tax losses. Nor could it assume automatic access to the German broadcaster’s free cashflow (although there’s none of that to draw on as yet).