Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, October 27, 1998 Published at 11:58 GMT


Business: The Company File

BSkyB struggles to control Man Utd

The FA is worried about the impact on other clubs

Satellite broadcaster BSkyB has still not won control of the majority of Manchester United shares.

Many shareholders are thought to be awaiting the Office of Fair Trading's report on the proposed deal, before deciding whether to accept the bid.

BSkyB said it had received valid acceptances from shareholders representing 33.5% of the football club's shares.


[ image: Rupert Murdoch has his sights set on winning control of Man Utd]
Rupert Murdoch has his sights set on winning control of Man Utd
With the shares it has been buying directly from the company, the broadcaster owns just short of 45%.

For a takeover, BSkyB has to have more than 50% to gain a controlling stake in the club, at which point most other investors would sell their shares.

The broadcaster's £623m ($1.06bn) takeover bid for the club was launched in September was accepted by the Manchester United board.

However, the planned deal has sparked controversy as it would mean the TV company, which has the rights to live coverage of English soccer's premier league, would own the biggest club.

BSkyB faces opposition from some of the club's fans and it must still clear the government's regulatory hurdles.

Shareholders have until next Tuesday to decide whether to accept the offer, although BSkyB can extend the timetable until early December if it wishes.

Many shareholders are awaiting the outcome of a vital Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report into the monopoly implications of the deal, which is expected next Monday.


[ image: Trade and Industry Minister Peter Mandelson will have the last say]
Trade and Industry Minister Peter Mandelson will have the last say
If it recommends a further investigation from the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, the offer would lapse automatically while the inquiry takes place.

If the OFT gives the deal the green light, BSkyB can extend the timetable for shareholders to early December if it has less than 50% of the stocks.

Last Friday, a spokesman for the Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson, who has the last say, denied that the minister was ready to endorse the deal. He said Mr Mandelson had not yet made his decision.

Earlier this month, the English Football Association said that it opposed the takeover.

"If the bid is allowed to go through it will create a situation where not only the strength of one club but also the influence of one club would extend far beyond the range of others," the FA said.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


The Company File Contents


Relevant Stories

27 Oct 98†|†UK Politics
Man Utd fans take on Parliament

14 Sep 98†|†The Company File
Mancunian rhapsody

11 Sep 98†|†The Company File
Arsenal and Carlton line up against Murdoch

09 Sep 98†|†Business
United accepts £623m BSkyB bid





Internet Links


Manchester United


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles