Appeal court orders Sky to sell stake in ITV
The court of appeal has today ordered BSkyB to sell the majority of its 17.9% stake in terrestrial broadcaster ITV. It’s the latest development in the on-going saga of Sky’s stake in ITV which has been going on since late 2006!
The court of appeal has today ordered BSkyB to sell the majority of its 17.9% shares in terrestrial broadcaster ITV. Sky acquired the shares in late 2006 which immediately prompted protests from some, including Richard Branson. Today’s court ruling is the fourth on the issue of Sky’s stake in ITV and once again Sky has been ordered to sell the majority of its stake in ITV. Sky has been ordered to reduce its stake to less than 7.5% in the company. The court of appeal also denied Sky permission to appeal to the Supreme Court over the issue. However, Sky does have 28 days to apply directly to the Supreme Court but it’s understood that Sky has already met with potential buyers for its shares.
Among those rumoured to be interested are RTL who own Channel Five in the UK. There was a possibility of a merger between ITV and Five at one point and RTL also launched a take-over bid of ITV at one stage as did Virgin Media but both of them were rejected. RTL has also considered merging Channel Five with Channel Four but the directors of Four were not keen on the idea and instead preferred the option of merging Four with BBC Worldwide.