ESPN gains $219 million from 50% stake sale in ESS to News Corp

ESPN gains $219 million from 50% stake sale in ESS to News Corp

MUMBAI: Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp?s payout to ESPN for the 50 per cent stake buy in ESPN Star Sports (ESS) is $220 million, net of cash.

In November 2012, News Corp said it acquired the stake of ESPN in ESS for approximately $335 million. So this implies that ESS had a cash balance of $115 million at the time of buying out ESPN?s stake in the company.

ESPN, the American sports television network, said Wednesday in its first quarter financial results that it has gained $219 million from the sale of its 50 per cent interest in ESS, its Asian sports joint venture with rival News Corp.

ESPN last year sold its stake in the JV for $335 million thereby valuing ESS at $770 million. ESS, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corp, has been renamed as Fox Star Sports Asia.

Except in India, the ESPN brand name has also been dropped across Asia and all the channels have been renamed Fox Sports in markets where it had a presence.

"EPS for the current quarter includes a gain on the sale of our 50 per cent interest in ESPN STAR Sports of $219 million," The Walt Disney Company said in its October-December first quarter results.

The gain from sale of equity interest in ESS helped ESPN to partially offset lower operating results during the quarter.

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