Murdoch sells pay-TV business to U.K. firm

Murdoch sells pay-TV business to U.K. firm - 8th December 2014


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Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch wanted his European pay-TV business, called Sky Plc., to concentrate more on its television operations.

And CVC Capital Partners, one of the world’s largest private equity firms that specializes in management buyouts, was looking to make an investment in online gambling.

So, the two of them got together with CVC purchasing a controlling stake in the online betting division, Sky Bet, for $1.25 billion.

The deal appears consistent with recent efforts by companies around the world to get into the online gambling business.

A few months ago, the Canadian firm Amaya reached out to the U.K. to acquire PokerStars, the world’s biggest online poker company, and its affiliate, Full Tilt. Because of U.S. indictments, PokerStars ran into trouble attempting to get licensed in New Jersey. Also, the company has been barred in Nevada and could suffer a similar fate in California.

Since the Amaya acquisition, however, efforts are being made to show regulators that with different management the poker company should be approved for licensing.

Other online gaming companies have also attracted interest, such as 888 Holdings and Bwin.Party, two large online gaming companies operating in Europe, while Apollo Global Management and TPG, the two companies that took Caesars Entertainment Corp. (CZR) private a half-dozen years ago, have made a major investment in separately-traded Caesars Acquisition Co. (CACQ), which operates the company’s online activities.

Sky Bet reportedly operates a large online sports book in addition to poker and other casino games.