Murdoch gets support from Saudi prince lifting News Corp voting stake

MUMBAI: Media moghul Rupert Murdoch was given a boost in his battle to retain control over his media empire after a long-time supporter billionaire Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal increased his voting stake in News Corp.



Media reports indicate that Talal has bought a 5.46 per cent voting stake in News Corp after selling the three per cent non-voting stake previously held by his investment company Kingdom. News Corp is said to be looking to protect itself against a possible takeover bid from Liberty Media. John Malone’s conglomerate has already increased its stake in News Corp. to 18 per cent. This prompted Murdoch to implement a poison pill provision.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission the Prince beneficially owns 56.2 million News Corp. Class B common shares. The prince has said that he acquired the Class B common stock for investment and currently supports the efforts of the board and management and expects to vote his Class B shares in support of Murdoch.



In the filing the Prince has stated that he will buy more voting shares if the situation warrants it. The Murdoch family own close to 30 per cent of News Corp's voting stock Meanwhile Murdoch has summoned his most senior executives for the second summit in seven months on News Corp's internet strategy. The broadcasting and publishing group’s executive committee will gather this weekend near Murdoch’s ranch in California.

Murdoch spent $580 million on buying Intermix, which operates social networking site, and bought Scout Media, a sports website company.

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