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BSkyB seals deals for Sky Italia, Sky Deutschland to form European giant

BSkyB is to be renamed as Sky after the UK pay-television broadcaster confirmed that it had completed acquisitions of Sky Italia in Italy and a majority stake in Sky Deutschland in Germany and Austria.

The deal brings together leading sports broadcasters in three of Europe’s four largest pay-television markets.

BSkyB has acquired 100 per cent and 57 per cent of 21st Century Fox-owned Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, respectively. Sky also made an offer to Sky Deutschland’s minority shareholders, with 89.71 per cent having accepted. BSkyB paid £6.88bn (€8.7bn/$10.8bn) to create the pan-European pay-television company.

The change of name will need to be approved by the company’s shareholders at the BSkyB annual general meeting on November 21. BSkyB is removing the ‘British’ and ‘Broadcasting’ book-ends of the name in order to reflect the new company’s international and multimedia outlook.

“The three Sky businesses will be even better together,” said BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch, who will lead the enlarged group. “By joining together, we will share our strengths and expertise while retaining a strong identity in each country where we operate. The opportunity ahead is substantial and we believe the new Sky will be good for customers, content creators and shareholders alike.”

Brian Sullivan will stay on as chief executive of the German and Austrian operation while Andrea Zappia will continue to lead the company in Italy.