July 20, 2014 / 1:48 PM / 4 years ago

BSkyB could buy Sky Deutschland, Italia in next fortnight - Sunday Times

LONDON (Reuters) - BSkyB could agree a deal in the next two weeks to buy Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia and his stake in Sky Deutschland, the Sunday Times reported.

The process has so far faced obstacles from minority shareholders of Frankfurt-listed Sky Deutschland, the paper said, citing sources.

The deal would create a European pay-TV powerhouse with 20 million subscribers, with analysts giving an acquisition a likely price of 7-10 billion euros (5.5-7.9 billion pounds).

Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox owns 100 percent of Sky Italia and 57 percent of Sky Deutschland. Murdoch currently owns a 39 percent stake in BSkyB, the British pay-TV firm.

Both Sky and Fox declined to comment. BSkyB is to report its results on July 25, and is likely to provide more details about the deal then.

Murdoch’s empire has a history of bold, if expensive, gambles. Last week 21st Century Fox revealed that its attempts to buy Time Warner had been rejected.

A source put the price of a deal at around $80 billion - which would have made it the 83-year-old magnate’s largest-ever takeover.

Reporting By Freya Berry and Kate Holton, editing by Rosalind Russell

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