Prince Alwaleed to fund 24-hour news channel

Rotana chairman considers funding station; Rotana IPO also planned.
HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud.
HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud.

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Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, has said that he is considering funding a 24 hour news channel to compete with Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.

The chairman of Rotana Media Group has however said that this venture would not involve his Kingdom Holding Company or Rotana telling newswire Bloomberg that the the channel “is something I will be doing personally” because it “needs a lot of investment up front”.

Alwaleed also revealed that he plans to sell a stake in Rotana on the public market within two years as part of plans to grow the business in the Middle East.

“An IPO will be happening in the coming two years,” said Alwaleed. “We need to brand the company very well before we go into an IPO.”

News Corp recently purchased a 9.1 percent stake in Rotana for a reported US $70 million with the option to take a further 9.1 percent in the future.

Rotana has recently stepped up its activity in the Middle East partnering with Disney and Fox International Channels and committing to the launch of HD content later in 2010.

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