News Corp. (NWSA) Bolsters Presence in Australian Pay-TV Market with A$2B ConsMedia Takeover

September 7, 2012 7:01 AM EDT
News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) is looking more 'Fox'-y Friday morning, following reports that Australia's Consolidated Media accepted a A$2 billion (USD 2.06 billion) bid from the media megaconglomerate.

The takeover of Consolidated Media would give News Corp a stronger market position in Australia's pay-TV marketplace.

Under the deal, News Corp.'s Australian unit would increase its stake in Foxtel to 50 percent and give it 100 percent of content provider Fox Sports.

Consolidated Media's Board backed the offering, pending no better deal comes arises.

The new bid from News Corp. is equivalent to A$3.45 per share of Consolidated Media, plus a dividend of A$0.06 for total consideration of A$3.51 per share. That's just a penny (Australian penny?) about the A$3.50 per share bid on June 20th, data show.

One risk was Seven Group Holdings, which boasts a 24 percent stake in Consolidated Media. The group, run by billionaire Kerry Stokes, could have outbid News Corp., though sources said a move was unlikely.

Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission has cleared the deal, but its competition regulator is slated to make a decision on September 13th on a separate request for Severn Group to make an offer, reports Reuters

Shares of News Corp. last traded flat at $24.50.

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