Vodafone Eying Possible Bid for British Satellite TV Broadcaster

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There are increasing rumours that the soon to be cash rich Vodafone may launch a takeover bid for UK based satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

BSkyB shares have been rising on the rumours which have been swirling around the stock market for the past week or so.

Although BSkyB is best known as a satellite TV company, it also owns a substantial ISP and landline services division, which was recently boosted by the acquisition of Telefonica O2's ISP business.

The broadcaster has 10.4 million paying subscribers, of which around a third also take the company's internet and phone line services.

The combination would enable Vodafone to offer bundled mobile, landline, internet broadband and television services to its customers.

BSkyB has a market capitalisation of around USD22 billion, but is facing pressure from a recently resurgent British Telecom which has invested heavily in broadband services, and is now behaving increasingly like a Cable TV provider.

The company is 39.1% owned by News Corp, with the rest listed on the London stock exchange. Any takeover bid would almost certainly have to have prior approval from News Corp before being announced.

The move is also being reported as a possible defensive move by Vodafone to grow the size of the company in order to fend off a possible hostile takeover bid by AT&T following the disposal of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless.

On the web: Daily Mail

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Tags: bskyb  vodafone  UK 

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