Joined Nov 11, 2007
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$NWSA to Increase Stake in $SKYD

Sky Deutschland AG (SKYD) agreed on a $1 billion financing deal with shareholder News Corp. (NWSA) and a group of lenders that allows Rupert Murdoch’s company to increase its stake in the German pay-television unit to 54.5 percent.

Sky will sell 77.9 million new shares at 4.46 euros each to News Adelaide, a unit owned by New York-based News Corp., to raise 347.4 million euros ($465 million), Munich-based Sky said today. Sky Deutschland also agreed with banks led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over 300 million-euro five-year credit facilities that are guaranteed by News Corp. Sky rose 4.3 percent to 4.80 euros at 9:24 a.m. in Frankfurt.

Sky’s stock was the best performer in the 27-company Bloomberg Europe 500 Media Index last year, having almost tripled. Chief Executive Officer Brian Sullivan is counting on higher-paying subscribers to help Sky reach its target for an operating profit in 2013, which would be the first since News Corp. began investing in the company about five years ago.

“The market had long anticipated the second leg of equity financing,” Conor O’Shea, a media analyst with Kepler Capital Markets in Paris, wrote in a note today. Speculation around a full News Corp. takeover will increase once the rights issue is complete, O’Shea said….”

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