LDC Buying Easynet from BskyB

LONDON (Reuters) – British satellite broadcaster BSkyB (BSY.L) has agreed to sell its business-to-business telecoms unit Easynet for 100 million pounds ($153 million) to LDC, a British private-equity firm backing Easynet’s management.

BSkyB said it would retain the British network assets that it acquired as part of its 2005 Easynet acquisition to service its residential customers, while giving Easynet continued access to its fibre network for Easynet’s corporate customers.

The company added on Wednesday that the transaction was expected to be neutral to its operating profit in the current 2010/11 fiscal year.

“We propose to exit the B2B segment with the sale of the business to a credible team and on attractive terms,” BSkyB Chief Financial Officer Andrew Griffith said in a statement.

Share in BSkyB closed up 0.1 percent at 698 pence, one of the weakest performers in the European media index .SXMP, which closed up 2.2 percent.

The company, which is due to report full-year results next week, has had an approach from major shareholder News Corp (NWSA.O) to buy the rest of the company for 700 pence per share, but it could take a year for a deal to be be agreed.

LDC is fully funded by the Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), it said, and was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) and Arma Partners.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)