News Corp ups stake in Alwaleed's Rotana for $35m

US media firm will raise its stake to 14.53% in Rotana, group controlled by Saudi prince
Prince Alwaleed greets News Corps Rupert Murdock at an Abu Dhabi media conference
By Jo Anne Bladd
Wed 11 May 2011 04:22 PM

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp will raise its stake in Saudi’s Rotana Group, the media company controlled by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, in an investment worth $35m.

News Corp will exercise 50 percent of its option in Rotana to raise its stake to 14.53 percent, the Saudi media group said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

News Corp retains the right to exercise the remaining 50 percent of the option until November 2012, the statement said.

“News Corp has an unrivalled record in development businesses of scale around the world. This investment will help to build Rotana’s presence across the region,” said Prince Alwaleed.

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 9.09 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 to 18.2 percent for another $70m.

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