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Murdoch and News Corp Aligning with Muslim Brotherhood

Com­ment: The busi­ness deals between Prince Alwaleed and News Corp con­tin­ue to pro­lif­er­ate. Grup­pen­fuhrer Mur­doch has bought a sig­nif­i­cant stake in Sau­di media group Rotana, con­trolled by Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fel­low trav­el­er Prince Alwaleed. (Alwaleed does fund rais­ers for the Broth­er­hood’s Pales­tin­ian branch, Hamas, and has con­tributed mon­ey to the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions [CAIR], which is close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the Broth­er­hood. Right: Hamas sol­diers salut­ing.)

“News Corp Buys $70M Stake in Sau­di Group” by Lina Saigol and Andrew Edge­cliffe-John­son; Finan­cial Times; 2/22/2010 [1]

Rotana Media, the broad­cast­er and music group owned by Sau­di bil­lion­aire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said it had agreed to sell a $70m stake to News Corp, Rupert Murdoch’s glob­al media empire.

Rotana said on Tues­day that News Corp had agreed to buy a 9.09 per cent stake with an option to take this up to 18.18 per cent.

The move will mark News Corp’s most sig­nif­i­cant invest­ment so far in the Mid­dle East, where faster GDP growth, a young pop­u­la­tion and matur­ing adver­tis­ing mar­kets have begun to draw US and Euro­pean media groups fac­ing slow growth in their home mar­kets.

”This is a qual­i­ta­tive leap not just for Rotana but for the whole Arab world,” Prince Alwaleed told a press con­fer­ence. ”We are set to gain deep expe­ri­ence from News Corp ... on tele­vi­sion, movie pro­duc­tion and tech­nol­o­gy,” he said. ”They own MySpace ... We can learn from this, the new media field.”

The acqui­si­tion will also tie the Mur­doch fam­i­ly clos­er to one of their most impor­tant share­hold­ers.

Prince Alwaleed’s King­dom Hold­ings owns 7 per cent, or 56m shares, of News Corp’s class B stock and is the largest share­hold­er out­side the Mur­doch fam­i­ly.

The prince is not on News Corp’s board of direc­tors, but last month anoint­ed James Mur­doch, head of News Corp’s Euro­pean and Asian oper­a­tions, as his father’s even­tu­al suc­ces­sor. . . .