News Corporation is selling its 44 percent share in the Sky TV network in New Zealand in a move that will see it exit the business that it established in the country in 1987, according to a brief announcement made today.
News Limited — the subsidiary through which News Corporation operates in Australia and New Zealand — has tapped Deutsche Bank and Craigs Investment Partners to manage the sale . The company expects its assets will be acquired by “a broad range of institutional and retail investors”, but no price has been disclosed
A statement from Chase Carey, President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation, said that the rest of the News Limited business – which includes more than 140 newspapers in Australia, including news.com.au – will not be affected. No reason was given for the sale:
SKY is a world class subscription television business and has been an outstanding investment for News Corporation. We and SKY have always enjoyed an excellent, arms-length working relationship and we expect this to continue unaffected by the sale. In particular, we do not anticipate any change to current arrangements regarding access to content and collaboration on technology.
The sale will see Regional Director of News Limited Michael Miller leave the Sky board.
News Limited was initially Rupert Murdoch’s principal holding company until the Australia-born entrepreneur set up News Corporation in 1979. Thereafter, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Sky TV New Zealand is installed in approximately half of the households in the country. The company expanded into low-cost television when it launched its Igloo pre-pay service in partnership with Television New Zealand last year. Sky holds a 51 percent share.
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