x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

News Corp takes stake in Dubai media company

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire is to acquire a minority stake in the Dubai-based media company Moby Group.

News Corporation has agreed to acquire a minority stake in Moby Group, a Dubai-based media company with operations in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Rupert Murdoch's media empire will provide capital to fund Moby Group's expansion, the companies said in a joint statement.

News Corp has an existing relationship with Moby Group through its 50 per cent shareholding in Broadcast Middle East (BME), a joint venture between the two companies that specialises in Farsi-language TV stations.

News Corp will now trade its shareholding in BME for a minority stake in Moby Group, the companies said.

Moby Group runs media brands in Afghanistan included the television stations Tolo TV and Lemar TV, as well as a number of radio stations and print publications.

"Under the terms of the agreement, News Corporation will contribute its 50 per cent shareholding in Broadcast Middle East (BME), its Farsi-language TV joint venture with Moby, for a minority shareholding in Moby and will also provide growth capital to Moby for its expansion plans. BME will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moby following the investment," the statement said.

James Murdoch, the deputy chief operating officer at News Corp, said the markets covered by Moby Group are "challenging, yet very promising".

"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 Mr Murdoch in a statement.