Saudi firm cuts stake in Murdoch’s news Corp

The breakup of Murdoch’s empire in 2013 led to the creation of 21st Century Fox

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Kingdom Holding Co, chaired by billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has reduced its stake in Rupert Murdoch’s media giant News Corp over the past year, the Riyadh-based firm said Wednesday.

Kingdom’s stake has fallen from more than 13 million Class B shares, or about 6.6 percent, to two million shares, which represent about one percent ownership, a statement said.

The transactions generated $188 million (165 million euros).

“The reduction of KHC’s holding in News Corp has been decided in the context of a general portfolio review,” Alwaleed said in the statement, adding that KHC remains a firm believer in News Corp’s management.

KHC’s 6.6 percent holding of 21st Century Fox is unaffected by the lesser stake in News Corp.

The breakup of Murdoch’s empire in 2013 led to the creation of 21st Century Fox, which operates the Fox Hollywood studios and television assets, and News Corp.

The latter firm owns newspapers in Australia and Britain along with The Wall Street Journal and New York Post.

As well as media investments, Kingdom Holding has interests ranging from the Euro Disney theme park to Four Seasons hotels and Citigroup.

KHC is 95 percent owned by Alwaleed and is included in the Tadawul All-Shares Index on the Saudi bourse.

Alwaleed separately owns pan-Arab news channel Alarab based in Bahrain.

It began broadcasting Sunday but has been off the air since, blaming “technical and administrative reasons.”

The channel had broadcast an interview with an opposition politician in Bahrain.

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