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News Corp. invests in Afghanistan

Company joins Farsi-language TV j.v.

News Corp. Monday said it will take a minority stake in Moby, a media company headquartered in Dubai and active in Central Asia, principally Afghanistan, and the Middle East.

Transaction calls for News Corp. to contribute its 50% of Broadcast Middle East (BME), a Farsi-language TV joint venture with Moby, and provide unspecified fresh cash for Moby to expand. BME will become a wholly owned subsid of Moby.

Through BME, News Corp. and Moby have launched two Farsi-language channels, FARSI1 and Zemzemeh. Company said the deal will help Moby strengthen its leadership position across the regions and expand in new and emerging markets.

Saad Mohseni will continue as chairman of Moby and Zaid Mohseni as CEO of BME.

News Corp. will take a seat on the Moby board of directors.

James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer and chairman-CEO of international at News Corp. said the pact “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 said, “We are delighted to have in News Corporation… 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.”