News Corp takes stake in Dubai media group

Posted on January 17, 2012

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US media giant News Corp. announced plans on Monday to take a stake in Dubai-based Moby, which has broadcasting operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

In a statement, News Corporation and Moby said the group led by media mogul Rupert Murdoch will become a minority investor in Moby.

News Corporation will contribute its 50 percent shareholding in Broadcast Middle East, its Farsi-language TV joint venture with Moby, for a minority shareholding in Moby and will also provide capital to Moby for its expansion plans.

Through BME, News Corporation and MOBY have launched two Farsi-language channels, FARSI1 and Zemzemeh.

The agreement “will enable Moby to strengthen its leadership position across the regions in which it currently operates whilst working to expand its presence in new and emerging markets,” said a joint statement.

Moby will continue to be chaired by Saad Mohseni while Zaid Mohseni will continue to serve as chief executive of BME, which will become a subsidiary of Moby.

“Merging our Farsi joint venture into Moby allows us to expand our activities with what is surely one of the most dynamic and exciting media businesses in emerging markets anywhere,” said News Corp. deputy chief operating officer and chairman James Murdoch.

“The Mohsenis are true pioneers and we are pleased to be able to invest alongside them in these challenging, yet very promising markets.”

Saad Mohseni said in the statement, “We are delighted to have in News Corporation both a partner with a long track record of growing entrepreneurial, innovative businesses and an investor that sees value in entering parts of the world which many media organizations have not traditionally looked to.”

Moby hopes to develop its activities in Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Based in New York, News Corp. operates the Fox film and television properties, satellite unit SKY Italia, the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, various publishing assets, and news properties in Britain and Australia. It owns 39 percent of British pay-TV giant BSkyB.

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