NZ low on News Corp's to-do list: Sky TV boss

John Fellet

New Zealand is probably not high on Rupert Murdoch's agenda right now, Sky Television chief executive John Fellet says.

With the imminent split of Mr Murdoch's News Corporation empire into publishing and entertainment arms, there has been speculation in Australasia about what subsidiary News Limited will do with its minority stake in New Zealand listed satellite TV company Sky.

The announcement earlier this week News Corp will raise its stake in German pay-TV company Sky Deutschland would have been more fuel to the fire.

Mr Fellet told NBR ONLINE he does not know what News Ltd will do and the company does not share its strategy with him.

"I suspect New Zealand's low on the totem pole of things they're worried about right now."

He says a pre-Christmas, fully-imputed special dividend of 32 cents per share was prompted by the possibility News might sell.

Because NBR Rich Listers the Todd family sold their 11.1% stake in November, Mr Fellet says the sale of another 20% meant Sky would not be able to issue imputation tax credits on further dividend payments during the year.

"I was just concerned how easy the Todds got their shares away and investment bankers said they could have got a lot more shares away if they had a lot of buyers in the market."

In today's print edition of The National Business Review, JBWere (NZ)'s head of advice Barry McLauchlan says Sky is a good earner, with a gross dividend yield of 15% last year, but he does not know if that is enough to tempt News to raise its stake or attempt a full takeover.

With the rise of online viewing overseas and Sky's saturation of the New Zealand market he wondered about the company's long-term prospects.

Sky (NZX: SKT), which is listed on the NZX50 index, has dropped 7.3% over the last year, and started today at $4.90. 

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz


Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7162 0.0043 0.60%
AUD 0.9567 0.0033 0.35%
EUR 0.6434 0.0036 0.56%
GBP 0.5403 0.0112 2.12%
HKD 5.5565 0.0334 0.60%
JPY 73.4120 0.1950 0.27%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1320.6 2.720 2016-06-30T00:
Oil Brent 49.7 1.480 2016-06-30T00:
Oil Nymex 48.3 -1.580 2016-06-30T00:
Silver Index 18.6 0.263 2016-06-30T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 6897.5 6932.1 6897.5 0.42%
NASDAQ 4837.2 4880.2 4842.7 0.27%
DAX 9742.8 9806.5 9680.1 0.99%
DJI 17924.2 18002.4 17930.0 0.07%
FTSE 6504.3 6587.4 6504.3 1.13%
HKSE 20736.8 20828.0 20436.1 1.75%
NI225 15698.0 15765.0 15575.9 0.68%
ASX 5233.4 5278.9 5233.4 0.25%