News Corp buys 10% stake in Rotana

    Deal is largest investment by Western media firm in the Arab world.
    Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, News Corp.
    Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, News Corp.

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    News Corp has purchased a 10 percent stake in Saudi-owned media company Rotana, according to reports.

    Under the terms of the deal, which has been the subject of industry rumour for several years, News Corp will have an option to double its stake to 20 percent.

    The two organisations already have strong links. Rotana owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is the largest shareholder in News Corp outside of the Murdoch family.

    The two companies also work together on the English-language channels Fox Series and Fox Movies that are broadcast throughout the MENA region. Rotana acts as sales agent for the Fox-branded channels. It is also a distribution partner for packaged media products from the Fox stable.

    Murdoch expressed his interest in the Middle East at a recent press conference held to announce the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, which he will co-chair.

    “I can't think of a better place to be talking about the future of media. Abu Dhabi sits at the nexus - of East & West, of developing & developed, of our media present and our future," he had said.

    News Corp is widely expected to continue its investment in the Middle East.

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