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BSkyB Raises $800 Million in First Bond Offering in Four Years

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Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, the U.K.’s biggest pay-TV provider, sold $800 million of 10-year bonds in its first debt sale in four years.

The company, in which Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. owns about 39 percent, issued the 3.125 percent debentures to yield 157 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The coupon is the company’s lowest on record, the data show. Proceeds will be used to refinance debt and for general corporate purposes.

BSkyB previously sold bonds in November 2008, issuing $600 million of 9.5 percent, 10-year debentures to yield 587.5 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, Bloomberg data show. The debt was quoted at 140.1 cents on the dollar to yield 2.29 percent on Nov. 16, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg.

The new securities may be rated Baa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified citing lack of authorization to speak publicly. Barclays Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. managed the offering for the Middlesex, U.K.-based company, Bloomberg data show.

BSkyB reported a 5.1 percent increase in fiscal first-quarter operating profit to $310 million pounds ($493 million) on Nov. 1, which beat analyst estimates.

News Corp. abandoned its 7.8 billion-pound bid for the rest of the company in July after allegations of phone hacking at its now-defunct News of the World tabloid engulfed the media company and prompted an unprecedented political backlash.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarika Gangar in New York at sgangar@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net

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