Report: Rupert Murdoch, Abu Dhabi Media Group Eyeing Financial Times
A report out of Malaysia circulated this morning which claimed Rupert Murdoch and the state-owned Abu Dhabi Media Group are in talks to acquire The Financial Times Group for $1.2B. News Corp. said, “This is completely untrue” and FT owner, Pearson, also denied the report saying, “The Financial Times is not for sale, and Pearson is not in any talks to sell it.” The talks, reported by Malaysian political and business magazine The Edge Review, cited financial executives familiar with the negotiations which had purportedly been going on for the past month. The Financial Times Group includes the flagship Financial Times newspaper as well as The Economist magazine. Per AFP, the report said the Abu Dhabi group is eyeing a 75% stake with Murdoch’s new News Corp. taking 25%. News Corp. officially split into two entities today. In an interview published in the FT website on Thursday evening, chief executive of the publishing business, Robert Thomson, said News Corp. could use its $2.6B of net cash for acquisitions, but there was no mention of the FT, and he also played down expectations of a bid for the Los Angeles Times. Thomson is a former U.S. managing editor of the FT.
Judges Deny Appeals To Drop Charges Against Hacking-Scandal Figures
In other News Corp.-related news, former News International chief Rebekah Brooks, and former News Of The World editor Andy Coulson have both been denied appeals to have criminal charges against them dropped. Neither appeared in a London court Friday, but three judges there dismissed the appeal that had been brought by Brooks, Coulson and three others, The Guardian said. Brooks and Coulson’s trials begin in September, when they will face charges related to phone hacking. The appeals were fashioned on the grounds that the law does not extend to voicemails that already had been listened to.Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson Prepping Follow-Up To ‘Either Way’
Icelandic helmer Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson, whose Either Way was remade by David Gordon Green as Prince Avalanche, is prepping his next picture, Cold Spring. It tells the story of a man who takes shelter from life’s complexities in a small village, but things change when his estranged father suddenly appears. The film is produced by Iceland’s Zik Zak Filmworks, in co-production with Profile Pictures in the UK and Arizona Productions in France. According to the Nordisk Film & TV Fund, the project was just awarded €200k by the Council of Europe-backed Eurimages. Also receiving funding from Eurimages is the second picture in the planned Department Q franchise from Denmark’s Zentropa. Mikkel Nørgaard is directing Pheasant Killers from a script by A Royal Affair‘s Nikolaj Arcel. The project was given €410k. The first film in the Q series, The Keeper Of Lost Causes, releases in Denmark in October. Nikolaj Lie Kaas stars as a detective banished to a basement cold case division. Fares Fares is his assistant. The movies are based on the best-selling novels by Jussi Adler-Olsen.
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