BSkyB Faces Possible £225m Buyout of BT’s Holding

15 January 2001

Satellite operator BSkyB could be obliged to hand over £225 million to British Telecom should the latter decide to sell its stake in interactive TV service Open.

Under a deal signed last year, BT owns nearly 20% of Open but has an option to abandon the service within ninety days of the deal’s completion. Since the agreement has not yet been approved by regulators, and therefore incomplete, BT could choose to pull out of Open and saddle BSkyB with a £225m bill.

BT certainly needs the funds at the moment, as it seeks to reduce debts from £30 billion to £10bn this year. However, the telecoms giant could also use the threat to quit to persuade BSkyB to ease its terms for use of its content on BT’s broadband services.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)