Rupert Murdoch-backed BSkyB has announced plans to create a European pay-TV powerhouse with the purchase of 21st Century Fox's stakes in Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland.
The £5.35 billion ($9.1 billion) deal, comprised of £4.97 billion in cash and the transfer of BSkyB's 21 percent stake in the National Geographic Channel, raised from the sale is expected to help boost a second Fox bid for Time Warner. An earlier $75 billion-plus bid has already been rejected by the target's board.
It will also help the combined company make greater inroads in Germany and Italy, where the pay-TV market is less mature than the U.S.
BSkyB, which has been beset by worries about new competitor BT Sport driving up the cost of Premier League football, reported stalled growth for the year to the end of June Friday morning, with earnings per share flat at 60p, and operating profit down 5.3 percent to £1.26 billion.