Saturday, January 16, 2010

Murdoch, prince in talks over Rotana investment

[Meeting: Murdoch, Alwaleed]

The meetings between CEO Rupert Murdoch and Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal focused on a deal where News Corp. would buy 10% of entertainment conglomerate Rotana Media Services. Alwaleed owns 7% of News Corp., making it the company's single-biggest investor after the Murdoch family.

Rotana, which hosts NWS's Fox channels in Saudi Arabia on its TV network, also owns rights to more than 2,000 Arabic movies and the world's largest Arabic language music library, The Wall Street Journal reports today.

Over the past two decades Prince Alwaleed, through his Riyadh-listed conglomerate Kingdom Holding Co., has focused his investments on banks, hotels and media firms, the WSJ says. It owns 7% of News Corp., according to the most recent proxy statement to shareholders. Kingdom also has built sizable stakes in companies including News Corp., Citigroup, Apple and Time Warner.

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