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News Corp. takes 15% stake in N. Zealand, Australian media firm

March 19, 2015

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said it has bought a 14.99 percent stake in Australian and New Zealand media firm APN, adding to its vast empire.

The deal came as Baycliffe Ltd, an investment vehicle of Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien, and Independent News &Media, decided to offload a 31 percent stake of APN in a block trade, the Australian Financial Review reported.

It also sees the return of Murdoch to New Zealand’s newspaper industry after a 12-year absence since Independent Newspapers, in which News Corp. had a 45 percent stake, sold its publishing arm there for NZ$1.19 billion ($888 million).

“APN has a high-quality portfolio of Australian and New Zealand radio and outdoor media assets and small regional print interests,” News Corp. said in a statement, without revealing how much it paid for the stake.

It added that the purchase was subject to regulatory approval.

“It is led by a quality management team that has successfully driven improvements in the performance of the business.”

The investment in Sydney-based APN will also provide News Corp., with access to advertising space on Hong Kong trains and billboards.

News Corp’s stable also includes The Wall Street Journal and New York Post newspapers in the United States; The Times, Sunday Times and The Sun in Britain and The Australian in the country of the tycoon’s birth.

It also houses Fox Sports Australia and the HarperCollins publishing house.

— Bloomberg News Contributed to this story —

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