By Jonathan Davies

French media giant Vivendi is considering a takeover bid for Sky, according to reports by Reuters.

Vivdendi is believed to be looking at Sky as one of a number of options to build on its core TV buinsess, Canal Plus.

But Reuters has suggested that, including Sky's debt, Vivendi would have to pay around £28 billion to buy the pay TV company, which could put it out of reach.

Vivendi is keen to expand its TV business into growing European markets. Sky's appeal grew last year when BSkyB bought Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland. Rupert Murdoch has longed for the three to be one single company, and it is now called Sky Plc.

Many market analysts have suggested that the move to unite Sky's European businesses was a stepping stone to Rupert Murdoch selling Sky.

Any deal would bring together two of the world's biggest media moguls, Murdoch and Vivendi chair and majority shareholder Vincent Bollore.

An unnamed source quoted by Reuters said that Bollore is central to any takeover bid, insisting it would not go ahead without his full support.