London/Dubai – January 16, 2012 – News Corporation and MOBY Group (MOBY) today announced that they have reached an agreement under which News Corporation will become a minority investor in MOBY, a media company headquartered in Dubai and active in Central Asia, principally Afghanistan, and the Middle East. Under the terms of the agreement, News Corporation will contribute its 50 percent shareholding in Broadcast Middle East (BME), its Farsi-language TV joint venture with MOBY, for a minority shareholding in MOBY and will also provide growth capital to MOBY for its expansion plans. BME will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of MOBY following the investment.
Through BME, News Corporation and MOBY have launched two successful Farsi-language channels, FARSI1 and Zemzemeh, reaching millions of Farsi speaking audiences across Central Asia and the Middle East.
The agreement with News Corporation will enable MOBY to strengthen its leadership position across the regions in which it currently operates whilst working to expand its presence in new and emerging markets. MOBY will continue to be chaired by Saad Mohseni while Zaid Mohseni will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of BME.
News Corporation will provide strategic guidance and input via representation on the MOBY Board of Directors.
James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chairman and CEO, International, News Corporation said, "Merging our Farsi joint venture into MOBY allows us to expand our activities with what is surely one of the most dynamic and exciting media businesses in emerging markets anywhere. The Mohsenis are true pioneers and we are pleased to be able to invest alongside them in these challenging, yet very promising markets."
Saad Mohseni, Chairman, MOBY Group said, "We are delighted to have in News Corporation both a partner with a long track record of growing entrepreneurial, innovative businesses and an investor that sees value in entering parts of the world which many media organizations have not traditionally looked to. Today's agreement both recognizes the value we have created together in Broadcast Middle East and enables us to continue to grow MOBY for the future."
Notes to Editors:
Over the past decade News Corporation has committed to reaching underserved audiences across the Middle East both through wholly owned businesses and partnerships. This includes bringing Dow Jones, Harper Collins and 20th Century Fox to the region and providing popular channels under the Star, FOX, FIC and National Geographic brands to viewers across the Middle East. In addition, News Corporation's investment in the Middle East media sector includes its 14.53 percent interest in Rotana Holding, one of the largest TV networks and ad sales operations in the region. News Corporation, through its shareholding in BSkyB, is fully supportive of BSkyB's 50-50 joint venture with Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp (ADMIC) to supply the region's first, free-to-air Arabic-language news channel, Sky News Arabia, which will launch in 2012.
News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of September 30, 2011 of approximately US$60 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$34 billion. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in six industry segments: cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television; direct broadcast satellite television; publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America.
MOBY Group owns and operates world-class integrated media industries in developing nations. Its popular and award-winning brands in Afghanistan include TOLO TV, LEMAR TV, ARMAN FM, Arakozia FM, Afghan Scene Magazine, TOLOnews and Kaboora Production. MOBY Group has been a JV partner with News Corporation in the popular FARSI1 and Zemzemeh channels, broadcasting in to Farsi-speaking audiences across the Greater Middle East. Its estimated combined audience size is over 45 million.
+44 (0) 20 7782 6462
+852 2621 8619
+971 50 55 61252