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News Corp to take stake in Rotana

Saudi media group Rotana has agreed to sell a 9.09% stake to News Corp for US$70m (€50m). The move cements News Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch’s alliance with Rotana chairman Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal.

News Corp has an option to increase its stake to 18.18% in the 18 months after completion.

Al-Waleed told a press conference that the move was “a qualitative leap not just for Rotana but for the whole Arab world” and said his group stood to gain from News Corp’s experience in TV, movie production and technology. He said that the investment would strengthen Rotana’s position in the region and help build its reach to the Arab diaspora around the world.

James Murdoch, chairman and CEO, Europe and Asia, News Corp, said: “A stake in Rotana expands our presence in a region with a young and growing population, where GDP growth is set to outstrip that of more developed economies in the years ahead. Rotana is a leading player in the Middle East and we look forward to working together.”

Rotana operates 11 TV channels in the Arab region, two of which are under a partnership with News Corp, as well as the largest record label in the Middle East. Al-Waleed’s Kingdom Holding Company owns a 7% stake in News Corp.