UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Jul 30, 2014

World Cup helps ITV to first-half earnings beat

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – ITV Plc, the British
commercial broadcaster that has caught the eye of pay-TV group
Liberty Global Plc, posted a higher-than-expected 11
percent rise in first-half adjusted earnings, helped by the draw
of the soccer World Cup.

John Malone’s Liberty, owner of British cable TV group
Virgin Media, bought a 6.4 percent stake in the broadcaster
earlier his month from satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Jul 25, 2014

BSkyB to pay 4.9 billion pounds to create Sky Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s BSkyB has agreed to pay 4.9 billion pounds in cash to buy Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, responding to slowing growth at home by creating a European media powerhouse.

BSkyB, in which Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is also the top shareholder, will pay for the deal using cash, debt and a placing of shares that represents around 10 percent of its issued share capital.

Jul 25, 2014

BSkyB to pay $8 billion to create Sky Europe

LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s BSkyB has
agreed to pay 4.9 billion pounds ($8.3 billion) in cash to buy
Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, responding
to slowing growth at home by creating a European media
powerhouse.

BSkyB, in which Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is also
the top shareholder, will pay for the deal using cash, debt and
a placing of shares that represents around 10 percent of its
issued share capital.

Jul 24, 2014

BSkyB to unveil “Sky Europe” deal on Friday

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – Britain’s pay-TV group BSkyB
will on Friday unveil its multi-billion euro deal to buy
Rupert Murdoch’s assets in Italy and Germany, sealing a plan to
create a pan-European giant with almost 20 million customers.

A person familiar with the situation said the terms of the
deal, first announced in May, were due to be disclosed at 0600
GMT on Friday, when the London-listed firm publishes its
full-year results.

Jul 18, 2014

BSkyB prepares to roll the dice again with European expansion

LONDON/MILAN/FRANKFURT, July 18 (Reuters) – BSkyB’s
plan to buy Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV assets in Italy and Germany
for perhaps as much as 10 billion euros is a bold bet on
long-term growth at the expense of short-term profit, but the
pioneering British media firm has pulled off such gambles
before.

Facing the toughest market conditions in its 25-year
history, BSkyB has opened talks with Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox
to acquire Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to
create a European powerhouse with 20 million subscribers.

Jul 17, 2014

Liberty Global buys stake in UK broadcaster ITV

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S.-based cable group Liberty Global (LBTYA.O: Quote, Profile, Research) has bought BSkyB’s (BSY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) 6.4 percent stake in ITV (ITV.L: Quote, Profile, Research), Britain’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, boosting its shares on hopes of a wider bid.

Billionaire John Malone’s Liberty, which bought British cable operator Virgin Media as part of a European expansion last year, said it did not intend to make an offer for the rest of the broadcaster, but ITV shares still rose 9 percent.

Jul 17, 2014

ITV shares jump as Malone’s Liberty Global buys stake

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – John Malone’s cable group
Liberty Global has bought a 6.4 percent stake in ITV
from BSkyB, lifting shares in Britain’s biggest
free-to-air commercial broadcaster on hopes of a wider bid.

Liberty, which bought Virgin Media in Britain as part of a
European expansion last year, said it did not intend to make an
offer for the rest of ITV, but shares in the group still rose 9
percent at the open as investors digested the move.

Jul 16, 2014

Vodafone CEO says unlikely to look at America Movil Mexico assets

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it was unlikely to be interested in telecom assets being put up for sale in Mexico by tycoon Carlos Slim’s America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) since a deal would not fit with its focus on the corporate market in Latin America.

America Movil has pledged to sell unspecified assets, which analysts say could include mobile subscribers and spectrum, to cut its market share in Mexico below 50 percent and escape tougher regulations.

Jul 4, 2014

BT pension fund in record deal to offload longevity risk

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) – The trustees of BT Group Plc’s
pension scheme have taken out insurance against the costs
associated with members living longer than expected, in the
biggest such deal of its kind in Britain.

BT, a former state telecoms group, has 320,000 members in
its scheme, making it the country’s largest private sector
defined-benefit pension plan, which requires annual top ups from
the parent company.

Jul 3, 2014

Serco to write down the value of some contracts

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) – British outsourcing firm Serco
, forced to raise cash after a collapse in profits, said
it expected to write down the value of some of its larger
loss-making contracts as part of a review of its business.

The firm, which said it was trading in line with its
expectations, noted that the writedowns could hit its previously
stated forecasts for the financial year. Shares in the group
slipped 0.6 percent by 1104 GMT.

    • About Kate

      "I am based in London and cover the UK media and telecoms sectors including BSkyB, Vodafone and WPP. I have previously covered UK general news and sports including major events such as the Olympics and football World Cups."
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