News Corp. Reduces Stake in China's Phoenix Television

7:04 AM PST 03/22/2013 by Georg Szalai

Rupert Murdoch's conglomerate raises $92 million by cutting its holding in the TV company to 12.16 percent as it continues to streamline its global portfolio.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. said Friday that its Asian arm is selling a 5.28 percent stake in Chinese company Phoenix Television Holdings for $92 million.

Following the transaction, News Corp. unit Star Entertainment Holdings will own a 12.16 percent stake in the firm.

Phoenix serves mainland China and Hong Kong along with other markets with Chinese viewers. It operates six TV networks, including a news and a movie channel.

James Murdoch, deputy COO and chairman and CEO, international at News Corp., said Phoenix chairman and CEO Liu Changle's and Phoenix's "accomplishments in the media industry in China are remarkable."

He added: "The company's strong position in all of the segments in which it operates, combined with the country's robust consumer market, will continue to drive growth. Today's sale is simply a part of our broader global agenda of simplifying our affiliate ownership structures."

News Corp. has been selling or fully acquiring various of its global holdings.

This month, the entertainment conglomerate agreed to sell its 44 percent stake in New Zealand's Sky Network Television. Also this year, News Corp. boosted its stake in German pay TV firm Sky Deutschland to a majority holding.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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