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News Corp. moves closer to purchase of Elisabeth Murdoch's TV company

February 11, 2011 | 10:48 am

Rupert Murdoch is getting to roll out the corporate welcome mat to his daughter, Elisabeth Murdoch.

EMURDOCH Murdoch's media conglomerate News Corp. is in the final stages of negotiating an arrangement to buy Elisabeth Murdoch's London-based television production company, Shine Group, for about $700 million, according to people familiar with the situation.

An announcement could come in the next couple of weeks.

The purchase is being driven, in large part, by Murdoch's desire to have his second-eldest daughter join the company in a high-level role. His youngest son, James, already has a key position, running News Corp.'s European and Asian operations.

Elisabeth Murdoch, 42, has spent the last decade building Shine into one of the U.K.'s most prominent and successful independent television studios. Shine produces such shows as "MasterChef" and "The Biggest Loser." News Corp. has international distribution channels, but it has limited production capabilities overseas.  That segment has become increasingly important as producers take their successful reality show formats and replicate them in countries around the globe.

Elisabeth Murdoch, who owns 53% of Shine, has several reasons for wanting to sell. Minority partner Sony Pictures Entertainment, which owns 20%, has been looking to cash out. What's more, the European production industry has been rapidly consolidating. Shine, which has considerable debt, doesn't have the financial resources to take the company to the next level and Murdoch doesn't want to bring on additional partners that would dilute her controlling interest.

Click here to read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

-- Meg James

 Photo Elisabeth Murdoch. Credit: Tim Matthews / Allstar.