News Corp is in talks to take a stake in Arab media and entertainment giant Rotana, owned by the Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, reports WSJ, citing sources. The news comes shortly after Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) bought Arab portal Maktoob, and points to a growing interest among U.S. and European media companies for expanding into one of the last bastions left to, well, expand. The story says News Corp is looking at a 20 percent stake, though not clear whether the deal will be for existing stock or new shares. It is still early enough and a formal bid will come next month, it says. Rotana owns a film production company, a magazine (Rotana Magazine), television (Rotana TV), and seven music channels (Rotana Radio), a record label Rotana Records among others. It also has a fledgling digital music and video business. More on the company here.
Bin Talal’s holding company Kingdom Holding Co., which owns Rotana, has a 5.7 percent stake in News Corp (NYSE: NWS). and the prince has long standing ties with Rupert Murdoch the story says.
By Rafat Ali