News Corp. Buys Stake in Saudi Media Firm
News Corp. agreed to pay $70 million for a stake in the media company owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, one of its largest shareholders.
The New York media conglomerate will take a 9.1% stake in Rotana Group, with an option to double its holdings in 18 months, the companies said Tuesday. News Corp. will have two seats on Rotana’s six-person board.
The investment gives News Corp its first significant foothold in the Middle East, where it expects economies to grow quickly. Rotana owns television operations, a music label and a movie library, and already distributes two News Corp. English-language TV channels as well as movies in the region.
The deal also increases ties between News Corp. and Prince Alwaleed, who owns 7% of News Corp.’s class B voting shares.
News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal.
Prince Alwaleed is chairman of the Saudi conglomerate Kingdom Holding Co., whose investments include significant stakes in Citigroup Inc. and the parent company of the Four Seasons.
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