Rupert Murdoch has hinted that NewsCorp may abandon the long-awaited initial public offering of Sky Global Networks – its global digital TV subsidiary – in favour of a deal to acquire satellite broadcaster DirecTV via direct merger.

NewsCorp is pouring all its energy and resources into a possible $40 billion purchase of DirecTV from Hughes Electronics, the General Motors’ unit which controls DirecTV [WAMN: 16-Jan-01]. One possible option would be to inject Sky Global’s assets into Hughes.

In an interview with CNBC, Murdoch hinted heavily: “We don't know anything about an IPO at the moment. We have to conclude these conversations with these American satellite broadcasters and see whether we can effect a merger with our interests around the world and interests here. If that happens, there may not be an IPO because we might be merging existing public companies.”

The media mogul’s musings represent the first time that NewsCorp has publicly mooted a merger with Hughes as an alternative to an IPO.

News source: Financial Times