News Corp Purchase Of Consolidated Media Could Boost Earnings 2%, Analysts Predict

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.

News Corp’s $2 billion offer for James Packer’s Consolidated Media Holdings will boost News’ earnings per share by 2% in the 2014 fiscal year if the deal proceeds, according to media analysts at Goldman Sachs. Transaction would give News full ownership of Australia’s lucrative Fox Sports channels and increase its holdings in the dominant pay-TV platform Foxtel from 25% to 50%. Goldman Sachs noted the deal fits with chief operating officer Chase Carey’s strategy to “to either own and operate or monetize” its assets, illustrated by the recent buyout of Disney’s 50% stake in the Indian joint venture ESPN Star Sports, the acquisition of the 30% minority interest in Fox Pan American Sports and selling its 20% minority stake in Hathway cable in India. News Corp will easily fund the acquisition out of its $10.7 billion cash holding, the company said, adding that as it already has management control of Foxtel and Fox Sports, regulatory approval could be less of a hurdle than it otherwise might be. The broker has a buy rating on News stock.

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