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Australia: News Limited offers $2BN for Consolidated Media Holdings

If successful, the bid would double News Limited's stakes in pay-TV operators Foxtel and Fox Sports.

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Foxtel headquarters in Sydney, Australia. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

News Limited, the Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, is offering $2 billion for Consolidated Media Holdings, which is controlled by casino billionaire James Packer.

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If successful, today's bid would double News Limited’s stakes in pay-TV operators Foxtel and Fox Sports to 50 percent and 100 percent, respectively, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Packer, the largest shareholder in Consolidated Media, said he welcomed the bid and described the offer price of $3.50 a share as “fair,” News.com.au said.

The takeover is subject to regulatory approvals from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and the competition watchdog, the New York Times said.

"[New Limited] has made a huge amount of money out of pay-TV over the years," Matthew Ricketson, a journalism professor from Canberra University, was quoted by the Guardian as saying.

"It's been a key plank of Rupert Murdoch's global news empire and it makes sense that he would want to expand it here too."

The announcement came as News Limited unveiled plans to restructure its Australian print operations and cut an unspecified number of jobs there.

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Packer, the son of the late media baron Kerry Packer, is expected to use the proceeds of the sale to expand his gaming empire which includes stakes in casinos in Australia, London, Macau and Las Vegas.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120620/australia-news-limited-offers-2bn-consolidated-media-holdings