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NEW YORK – Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has no plans to sell any part of his Kingdom Holding’s investment in News Corp. amid a phone hacking scandal and expressed support for chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and his son and deputy COO James Murdoch, Reuters and Bloomberg News reported.
Kingdom Holding is the second-largest shareholder in News Corp. behind the Murdoch family with a 7 percent stake. News Corp. also owns 14.5 percent of Alwaleed’s Rotana Media Group.
Alwaleed told Bloomberg that “my confidence in News Corp., in Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch is unshaken completely.” He added: “We will sell nothing. We are standing by our friends.”
“No change, my investment is strategic, not thinking of selling anything,” he had earlier told Reuters. “The crisis does not make Kingdom Holding blink at all. It makes our partnership stronger.”
Alwaleed also told Reuters that he was in contact with News Corp. from the start of the crisis and he supported the closure of the News of the World tabloid.
“Their decision to shut down this tabloid in England is supported by me because we have to put this issue behind us,” Reuters quoted him as saying. “What happened in the scandal is a deviation from what News Corp. wants now, which is full control of the remaining shares (of BSkyB).”
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