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News Corp buys Saudi Rotana stake for $70m

Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate has option to double 9 percent stake.

February 23, 2010 11:12 by

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has reached an agreement to buy a 9.1 percent stake in Saudi-based Rotana Media Group for $70 million.

News Corp has an option to raise its holding to 18.2 percent in the 18 months following completion of the current deal, according to a statement released by the entertainment firm, which is controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

News Corp’s move is aimed at boosting the firm’s foothold in the Middle East media industry, according to a report by Reuters.

“This is a qualitative leap not just for Rotana but for the whole Arab world,” Prince Alwaleed bin Talal told a press conference. “We are set to gain deep experience from News Corp … on television, movie production and technology.”

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