BSkyB sells 10pc stake in ITV to meet competition requirements

9 Feb 2010

Satellite broadcaster and broadband provider BSkyB is selling a 10.4pc stake in ITV for an estimated stg£200 million in a move that will end a long-running legal battle over its investment in the commercial broadcaster.

BSkyB had bought a 17.9pc stake in ITV in 2006 for stg£940 million in a move that blocked NTL, now Virgin Media, from buying ITV.

Morgan Stanley has acted as sole bookrunner in the placement which will cut BSkyB’s stake in ITV to less than 7.5pc in keeping with requirements from the competition authorities.

UK entrepreneur Richard Branson accused Rupert Murdoch’s media empire of being a threat to democracy while politicians also questions BSkyB’s stake in ITV.

The UK Competition Commission ordered BSkyB to cut its stake to less than 7.5pc.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years