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Universal owner considering bid for Sky

By | Published on Wednesday 8 April 2015


So, Universal Music owner Vivendi has been threatening to go on an acquisition spree for sometime now, having offloaded an assortment of assets in recent years to generate quite a cash pile.

As previously reported, it’s just put in a bid for a majority stake in YouTube rival Dailymotion. And now it’s thinking bigger on the telly-style content front, by considering a bid for Sky plc, according to various reports overnight. Following some wheelings and dealings last year, Sky plc now owns the Sky networks in the UK, Ireland and Italy outright, and most of the Sky business in Germany and Austria too.

Vivendi is already in the TV business in home country France as owner of Canal+, and management at the company have said their focus moving forward is the media and entertainment sector, they having sold off most of the firm’s telecoms assets. Though Sky would be an ambitious acquisition, with some reckoning that – when liabilities and the premiums that would need to be paid to secure complete ownership are taken into account – it could cost Vivendi something nearing £28 billion.

No offer has yet been made, sources say, though a first port of call would need to be Rupert Murdoch’s TV and movie business Twenty-First Century Fox, which owns 39% of Sky. Vivendi, Sky and Fox were all in “no comment” mode on the bid rumours this morning.