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|| News Corporation acquired 9.09% stake in Rotana Media for $70 million

newscorp rotanaNews Corporation announced buying a 9.09 per cent stake in Rotana Group, the Middle East media group, for $70 million. The company has an option to increase its stake to 18.18 per cent in the 18 months following completion.

The acquisition of Rotana, which is owned by Family office of HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, is done with a valuation much less than what has been previously reported back in September 2009.

Their full release follows

News Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement to buy a 9.09 per cent stake in Rotana Group, the Middle East media group. Under the terms of the agreement, News Corporation will acquire newly-issued shares in Rotana for $70 million. The company has an option to increase its stake to 18.18 per cent in the 18 months following completion.

The acquisition extends News Corporation’s presence in fast-growing Middle East markets in partnership with one of the region’s strongest media companies. Rotana, which is owned by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, operates one of the largest TV networks and ad sales operations in the region and owns the largest Arabic film library. Additionally, it has built the leading record label in the Middle East, managing many of the most popular artists in the region and controlling the biggest Arabic music catalogue. Rotana also operates an expanding radio network and a wide array of digital services.

James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation, 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.”

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal said: “We are delighted to have this partnership with News Corporation. As one of the world’s most global media companies, it has an unrivalled record in developing businesses at scale around the world. This investment will strengthen our existing relationship, building Rotana’s presence across the region and expanding its reach to the Arab Diaspora around the world.”

News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of December 31, 2009 of approximately US$56 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$30 billion. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in eight industry segments: filmed entertainment; television; cable network programming; direct broadcast satellite television; integrated marketing services; newspapers and information services; book publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America.

Rotana Group is a diversified media company in the Middle East. It is the world's largest producer of Arabic music and a key distributor and producer of Arabic movies with a library comprising more than 1,500 movies. Rotana also owns a bouquet of leading free-to-air TV channels including LBC Sat, Cinema, Khalijiyah and Musica broadcasting the latest Arabic movies, series and music videos globally. Furthermore, Rotana has radio stations, a chain of cafes and its own magazine. It also operates a leading regional advertising sales arm (Rotana Media Services), responsible for advertising sales on its TV channels as well other media businesses in the region. Rotana's content is also digitally distributed globally through its innovative Rotana Digital Media unit. The Rotana Group employs over 1,300 employees located across the Middle East. HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the principal shareholder of the Rotana Group, is the beneficial owner of approximately 7 percent of News Corporation’s Class B Common Stock as reported on a Schedule 13G, as amended, filed on February 4, 2010

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