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Odey stands by BSkyB as News Corp prowls
by Sarah Miloudi on Mar 08, 2011 at 12:24
The proposed deal, which is worth an estimated £8.2 billion, could see media mogul Rupert Murdoch take on the 61% of BSkyB he does not already own.
Murdoch’s bid for BSkyB has proved to be a controversial one – it was referred by UK media regulator Ofcom to the EU Commission on monopoly fears and sparked fierce and public criticism of the bid by his rival media owners.
Last week, however, the government ruled talks between Murdoch’s News Corp – which owns the Sun, Times, Sunday Times and News of the World newspapers – and BSkyB could go ahead.
BSkyB gets Odey backing
Odey Asset Management, Crispin Odey’s (pictured) privately-owned investment management firm, says it has no plans to offload its 2.86% holding in BSky now the EU Commission, Ofcom and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt have all said there is no reason to oppose the deal on competition grounds.
Odey’s chief executive officer David Stewart told Citywire that the firm is not part of the band of shareholders supposedly fighting the deal and adding Odey is likely to continue with its investment in the broadcaster as takeover talks heat up.
‘We have not set a price, we are waiting on BSkyB to come up with whatever price they want to and then we will react,’ Stewart explained. ‘Odey’s position is absolutely clear: we likely the company and would be happy not to sell at all. We’d like to carry on being invested with BSkyB.’
Odey has held a position in BSkyB for roughly eight years. ‘We have been invested since 2003, so we have been there for a long, long time [and] like the company. We’ll wait on whatever the management want to suggest to us,’ Steward said.
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