Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Closes Sale of International Billboard Businesses

News Outdoor Russia and News Outdoor Romania reportedly fetched a lower price tag than hoped.

NEW YORK - Amid the ongoing phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. late in the week quietly closed a long-gestating deal to sell most of its billboard business in Eastern Europe and Russia.

The conglomerate said Friday that it has completed the sale of its 79 percent stake in News Outdoor Russia, which is Russia’s largest outdoor advertising firm, and News Outdoor Romania to a group of investors led by VTB Capital. Management will continue to own 21 percent of the business.

"This transaction completes News Corporation’s divestment of its outdoor advertising business, with the exception of News Outdoor Czech Republic," the company said. It didn't disclose financial terms.

The New York Times quoted Russian business newspaper Kommersant as saying the Russian business went for $270 million after Murdoch had initially eyed a sale for $1.6 billion.

The deal completion came after the recent $35 million sale of MySpace.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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