Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding has reduced its 6.6% holding in NewsCorp to approximately 1%, selling $188 million worth of class B shares. The Prince, a longtime backer and ally of Rupert Murdoch, has maintained his 6.6% stake in 21st Century Fox, worth approximately $1.7 billion at current market prices. Al-Waleed is the second largest shareholder in Fox.
“The reduction of KHC’s holding in NewsCorp has been decided in the context of a general portfolio review,” said Prince Al-Waleed in a statement. “We remain firm believers in NewsCorp’s competent management, led by CEO Robert Thomson, and are fully supportive of Rupert Murdoch and his family. Our investment in Twenty-First Century Fox, constitutes a solid foundation for our long standing relationship that we expect will endure.”
21st Century Fox also maintains a 19% stake in the Prince’s own media group Rotana, which he owns separately outside of Kingdom Holding.
One of the world’s most prominent businessmen, Prince Al-Waleed also owns significant stakes in the likes of Twitter and Euro Disney.
He has had a turbulent week with the shuttering of his much-vaunted Al Arab TV channel after only one day on air. The channel officially blamed “technical reasons” for the outage although many commentators in the region believe it was shuttered following political pressure for the royal families in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.