Sky Television receives takeover offer, keeping details confidential

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

Sky Television, a New Zealand pay TV group, has announced that it recently received a takeover offer; however, the company did not disclose the bidder's identity or the offer's price.

The pay-TV firm has suspended its share buy-back program in response to the offer, indicating that discussions with the potential buyer are still in the early stages. Sky characterized the offer as a "highly conditional, non-binding preliminary expression of interest from a third party to acquire all of the shares in Sky." The company emphasized that the offer is in its early, incomplete, and confidential stages, and there is no certainty that a transaction will occur.

As a result, Sky has decided not to provide further comments at this point. The company will also continue the pause in its share buy-back program, which began after releasing its full-year results on August 24, 2023. Sky intends to confirm the resumption of the buyback program in the future.

In June 2021, Sky enlisted advisers to assess a series of "unsolicited approaches," but no information was disclosed about the nature of these approaches or whether they involved takeover offers.

In 2022, Sky attempted to acquire MediaWorks, a New Zealand free-to-air network owner, but the move was met with investor opposition, leading to its cancellation.

In 2017, Sky's merger attempt with Vodafone NZ was called off.

Previously controlled by News Corp until March 2013, Sky Television fetched NZ$815 million for News Corp's 44% stake. However, the company's current market value stands at just under NZ$360 million, less than half of that amount.

Sky is currently facing economic challenges, as evidenced by an 18% decline in full-year profit to NZ$51 million, primarily due to technological and equipment issues in the past year. Despite this, revenue increased by 2% to NZ$754 million.

Sky's shares have seen a more than 10% rise in Australian dollar terms in 2023, with a 7.4% increase in NZ dollar terms.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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