News Corporation extends its reach in the Middle East with acquisition.

News Corporation has acquired a 9.09 per cent stake in Arabic media company Rotana Group as part of its plans to extend further into Middle East market.

Rotana, which is owned by Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has a film library with over 1500 Arabic titles as well as housing one of the region’s largest TV networks, a record label and radio network.

News Corp will acquire newly-issued shares in Rotana for $70 million. The company has an option to increase its stake to 18.18 per cent in the 18 months following completion.

James Murdoch, chairman and chief executive, Europe and Asia, News Corp, said: “A stake in Rotana expands our presence in a region with a young and growing population, where GDP growth is set to outstrip that of more developed economies in the years ahead. Rotana is a leading player in the Middle East and we look forward to working together.”

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal added: “As one of the world’s most global media companies, it has an unrivalled record in developing businesses at scale around the world. This investment will strengthen our existing relationship, building Rotana’s presence across the region and expanding its reach to the Arab Diaspora around the world.”