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It will look to create a TV subscription service across EuropeBSkyB

BSkyB has splashed out £4.9bn on the acquisition of Sky Italia and a majority stake in Sky Deutschland as it looks to create a Europe-wide television subscription service.

The broadcasting services company said it paid £2.09bn ($3.5bn, €2.6bn) for a 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland and £2.45bn for the Italian channel -- as well as transferring its 21% stake in the National Geographic Channel to the Italian firm -- which 21st Century Fox is set to buy for £382m, taking the total value of the deal to £5.3bn.

BSkyB says that with these services under its belt, it will be able to potentially expand its customer base threefold to more than 97 million.

Sky says that it also expects to see revenues jump from £7.6bn to £11.2bn as a result of the purchase.

"This transaction will create a world-class, multinational pay TV business with enhanced headroom for growth and immediate benefits of scale," said Jeremy Darroch, chief executive for BSkyB.

"By creating the new Sky, we will be able to use our collective strengths and expertise to serve customers better, grow faster and enhance returns."

Nick Ferguson, chairman of BskyB, added: "The agreed valuation represents an attractive financial opportunity that will deliver growth and value creation for all shareholders."

Sky's foray into the continental market will see the firm attempt to dominate a market that is largely untapped at the moment.

Just three out of ten homes subscribe to pay TV in Germany and Italy, and with BT posing a real challenge to Sky in the UK, it may be looking to expand its market share elsewhere.