London, February 23, 2010. News Corporation today announced that it has reached an agreement to buy a 9.09% 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% in the 18 months following completion. 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.”
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