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21st Century Fox Sells Star China TV Stake

Rupert Murdoch Leaving Court Looking Down - H 2013
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Rupert Murdoch

After struggling for years in the China market, Rupert Murdoch's company has sold its 47 percent holding to the firm's management group and private equity fund, CMC.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has sold its 47 percent stake in Star China TV, which runs three Chinese-language television stations, to the company's management team and the private equity fund, China Media Capital.

Financial details weren't disclosed. 

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Established in 2010 and majority-owned by Chinese media executive Li Ruigang's CMC, the joint venture operates three 24-hour channels: Xing Kong, Xing Kong International and Channel [V] Mainland China. It also operates the Fortune Star Chinese movie library, Fox said in a statement.

Murdoch reduced Fox's holding in Star China from a controlling stake back in 2010, after struggling to gain traction in the Chinese market due to the highly regulated nature of the media business and multiple barriers to entry for foreign companies.

"Today's divestment underscores our broader agenda of streamlining our affiliate ownership structures," said James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer of News Corp and son of Rupert Murdoch.

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CMC's Li said he looked forward to more opportunities for the two companies to work together going forward as their respective businesses continued to evolve.

"This latest transaction marks a new era for Star China and we remain committed to building the company into one of the most respected entertainment companies in China," he said.

The sale follows Murdoch's move in June to divide his corporate empire into two parts, under a long-heralded plan to "unlock value" by splitting the  high-performance entertainment division from the publishing operations. He remains in charge of both.