News Corp. is in talks with Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to take a stake in Rotana Media in what would be its first major investment in the Middle East, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper, citing "people familiar with the deal," said News Corp. may buy a 20 percent interest in Rotana from Prince Alwaleed, who controls Saudi conglomerate Kingdom Holding Co.
The News Corp.-owned Journal said a formal bid valuing the stake is expected this month.
The newspaper said Rotana, which hosts the channels of News Corp.-owned Fox in Saudi Arabia via its television network, owns rights to more than 2,000 Arabic movies and a large music library.
The Journal said that as of last year, Kingdom Holding held a 5.7 percent stake in News Corp. and has "long-established business links" with the family of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch.
(c) 2009 AFP
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