Thursday, October 20, 2005

BSkyB to Acquire Easynet, Gaining Access to UK Broadband

BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting) agreed to acquire Easynet, a leading ISP in the UK, for approximately GBP 211 million. The offer represents a premium of approximately 81% over Easynet's closing price on the previous day. BSkyB said the deal would give it:

  • an established presence in UK broadband

  • a leading position in Local Loop Unbundling in the UK with 232 local exchanges unbundled

  • managerial and technical expertise to expand this local infrastructure through the unbundling of additional exchanges

  • ownership of key parts of a national network, giving it control over the quality and availability of services to customers and the ability to offer differentiated and innovative products

  • an attractive source of new revenues and new customers for BSkyB as a result of involvement in a fast growing segment of the UK communications sector. The number of UK broadband connections increased from approximately 4.4 million to 8.1 million, an increase of 86 per cent., in the twelve months to 30 June 2005, and is projected to continue to grow further in the future

  • the opportunity to build on its nearly 8 million DTH subscriber relationships.

The BSkyB Group currently owns, operates and distributes 17 television channels including Sky Movies, Sky Sports, Sky One and Sky News. In addition, the BSkyB Group currently retails 109 third party television channels and holds equity interests in a number of joint venture channels. As of the end of June 2005, there were approximately 7,787,000 DTH subscribers to the BSkyB Group television service, and approximately 3,872,000 subscribers to the cable operators to hom the BSkyB Group supplies certain of its channels, in the UK and Ireland.

See also