Pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand has informed shareholders it has appointed investment bank Jarden to advise it on several "unsolicited approaches" that have been received.
Shareholders were made aware of the situation at Sky’s Investor Day presentation yesterday but the broadcaster did not provide details of where the approaches had come from and if any of them involved a takeover offer.
Reports in New Zealand indicated that US media giants Discovery and Comcast could be among the companies to have made approaches, and there is also thought to be interest from domestic private equity firms.
Comcast, which acquired European pay-TV giant Sky for $39 billion in 2018, is believed to have approached Sky NZ 18 months ago.
In 2017, a proposed merger of Sky NZ with UK telecoms company Vodafone's New Zealand division was blocked by New Zealand's Commerce Commission.
Philip Bowman, Sky NZ chairman, told shareholders on Tuesday: "Over the last 12 months, Sky has received a number of unsolicited approaches around potential transactions, all of which have been highly conditional and incomplete.
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"With the capital structure now stabilised, a strong position in the NZ market, and a revitalised strategy, the board does not believe the current share price reflects the underlying value of the company."
Bowman added that with the support of Jarden, Sky will evaluate "strategic investment partnerships that deliver sustained ongoing growth to the rights content and distribution reach of the company, which in turn will accelerate the creation of shareholder value".
Sky refused to confirm if any of the approaches were in relation to a takeover and only stated that “a range of options and approaches are on the table".
Following this update, the pay-TV operator’s shares traded down by 1.18 per cent to around 17 cents and a market cap of NZ$293 million ($204.6 million).
Sky is projecting revenue growth of NZ$75 million to NZ$100 million per year by 2024 as it claims its streaming services Neon and Sky Sport will add customers at a compound annual growth rate of 10 to 15 per cent over the next three years.
Sky was dealt a blow yesterday as it was ousted by streaming platform Spark Sport as the long-time rights holder of European soccer’s Uefa clubs competitions, including the elite Champions League, in a deal covering the 2021-22 to 2023-24 seasons.