News Corp ups stake in Alwaleed's Rotana

Rupert Murdoch's media empire increases stake in Saudi-based company to 18.97%
Prince Alwaleed with News Corps Rupert Murdoch.
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 16 May 2012 06:08 PM

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has increased its stake in Saudi Arabia-based media firm Rotana Group by acquiring newly-issued shares in the company.

News Corp will pay $35m for the shares, which will take its stake in Rotana to 18.97 percent. Last year, News Corp upped its stake to 14.53 percent.

The acquisition was announced after a meeting of the Rotana board chaired by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, chairman of Rotana Holding, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Rotana owns the Arab world's largest record label and about 40 percent of the region's movies, and operates a number of free-to-air television channels.

Prince Alwaleed holds a stake of about seven percent in News Corp through his investment vehicle Kingdom Holding Co.

News Corp acquired an initial stake in Rotana in May 2010, in an investment worth around $70m.

The media giant had another 18 months after the completion of the deal to double its stake for another $70m.

In January, US media giant News Corp secured a deal to take a minority stake in Dubai media company the Moby Group, in a bid to aid the group’s expansion around the Middle East.

The New York-based firm will help finance Moby’s debut in new markets and also provide media expertise, a statement said.

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