Murdoch's News Ltd to sell Sky TV stake for $815.3M   4 Mar 2013

Article - BusinessDesk

 

Murdoch's News Ltd to sell Sky TV stake for $815.3M in discounted placement

By Paul McBeth

March 4 (BusinessDesk) - Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd is quitting its stake in pay-TV operator Sky Network Television for $815.3 million through an underwritten placement to institutional investors at a 7.2 percent discount.

Sky TV's shares were halted after News said it will sell its 44 percent stake in the New Zealand firm in a placement underwritten and managed by Deutsche Bank and Craigs Investment Partners, according to a statement to the stock exchange. The $4.80 price was later published in a substantial shareholder notice. The shares last traded at $5.17.

"It's a reasonable discount without being overly generous - they don't need to be in a market that has supply issues and a lot of demand," said Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene. "It's a very large placement for the market, and we're seeing some selling stocks this morning to raise money for it."

The NZX 50 index fell 1.1 percent to 4272.43 on turnover of $86.1 million.

Murdoch's exit from the pay-TV firm comes four months after New Zealand's billionaire Todd family sold its 11 percent stake for $218 million at $5.05 a share. That was a discount of 5.8 percent at the time. News took the cornerstone stake in Sky TV via a merger with Independent News Ltd in 2005.

"We and Sky have always enjoyed an excellent, arms-length working relationship and we expect this to continue," News Corp president and chief operating officer Chase Carey said. "We do not anticipate any change to current arrangement regarding access to content and collaboration on technology."

The sale comes as Sky TV's local dominance in the pay-TV market comes under increased focus from the antitrust regulator with the Commerce Commission investigating the TV company's content arrangements with internet service providers.

News Ltd regional director Michael Miller will resign from Sky TV's board as a result of the sale.

The halt will be in place for up to two days to shift the stake.

The stock is rated an average 'outperform' based on nine analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $5.535.

Last week, the New Zealand pay-TV operator reported a 9 percent lift in first-half profit to $68.2 million, with a total subscriber base at 846,988.

(BusinessDesk)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Gareth Morgan: Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies

19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Gareth Morgan: Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus... more

Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power

19 Sep 2014 News
iPredict IPREDICT LTD 2014 NEW ZEALAND ELECTION DAILY UPDATE #12 www.ipredict.co.nz more

Business

NZ consumer confidence edges up in September from 10-month low

19 Sep 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand consumer confidence rose in September from a 10-month low, as households adjust to a more... more

Goodman to spend $33.4M on developments, sells Carter Holt Harvey plant in Christchurch

19 Sep 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Property Trust, which is selling assets to fund development, will spend $33.4 million on four ... more

Living

Pop superstar Lady Gaga using Shuttlerock's kiwi software

15 Sep 2014 Environment By Fiona Rotherham
Sept. 15 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand visual marketing software company Shuttlerock has added Lady Gaga to its client list. While... more

German, Kiwi films big winners at Uni Shorts 2014

15 Sep 2014 Entertainment
AUCKLAND: German filmmakers dominated the awards at the third annual Uni Shorts International Student Film Festival held over the... more

Property

Auckland house sales drop in August as winter, election weigh

3 Sep 2014 Property By Paul McBeth
Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland house sales fell for a third month in August and the number of listings remained muted in the... more

House sales down as winter cools market - REINZ

14 Aug 2014 Property
New Zealand house sales fell in July as winter cooled the appetite of house hunters while a drop in properties selling for $400,000... more

Migration

NZ net migration at annual record in August on big inflow

19 Sep 2014 Migration By Suze Metherell
  NZ net migration at annual record in August on big inflow, fewer departures Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand’s... more

Reserve Bank says migration impact on housing 'muted' so far

11 Sep 2014 Migration By Suze Metherell
Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank is keenly watching the impact New Zealand's decade-high net migration inflow is having on... more

Travel

Longer Wellington runway worth 2-5 flights daily by 2060

11 Sep 2014 Travel & Tourism By Pattrick Smellie
Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Plans for a $350 million runway extension for Wellington International Airport would provide the capital... more

NZ guest nights rise in July

10 Sep 2014 Travel & Tourism By Suze Metherell
NZ guest nights rise in July on school holidays, record short term visitors   Sept. 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest... more

Sport

Prince Harry to be Honorary President of England Rugby 2015

19 Sep 2014 Rugby
Prince Harry Announced as Honorary President of England Rugby 2015 on One Year to Go to Rugby World Cup 2015 With One Year to Go to... more

Silver Ferns Squad & Constellation Cup Team Announced

19 Sep 2014 Netball
Netball New Zealand National Selectors have chosen 19 players in the Silver Ferns Squad for the 2014/2015 international Netball... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on a campaign that is ending as it began

19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on a campaign that is ending as it began This election campaign is getting no less... more

Martin Doyle Cartoon: Election on a fork 'n' knife-edge

19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Opinion - Martin Doyle   Martin Doyle Cartoon: Election on a fork 'n' knife-edge   more

Kiwi Success

Prestigious Awards in Psychology

10 Sep 2014 People
The New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) -the largest membership association for psychologists in New Zealand, offers awards... more

The duo behind NZ's hottest new label

20 Aug 2014 People
We're expecting big things from Harman Grubisa, the new label from Auckland-based friends Madeleine Harman (right) and Jessica... more

Recruitment

Paramedics in NZ jump at opportunity of London career

11 Sep 2014 Recruitment
Paramedics in New Zealand jump at opportunity of a clinical career in London Paramedics hoping for a chance to work for the... more

High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue

22 Aug 2014 Recruitment
The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale... more