News Corp. Agrees to Purchase Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group

Elisabeth and Rupert Murdoch
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, right, with his daughter Elisabeth Murdoch. Photographer: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. agreed in principle to buy his daughter’s U.K.-based television production company, Shine Group Ltd., for 415 million pounds ($673 million).

Elisabeth Murdoch is expected to join the board of News Corp. upon completion of the deal, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. The move would bring her back into the fold of her 79-year-old father’s media empire, where she worked until 2000 at pay-TV company British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.

Shine, which produces hit shows such as “MasterChef” and “Merlin,” will be “an important part” of New York-based News Corp.’s expansion strategy for global TV operations, Deputy Chairman Chase Carey said in the statement. Shine last month said it hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on options and growth opportunities, citing consolidation in international production.

Shine, which Elisabeth, 42, founded in 2001, supplies television content to U.K. TV companies including BSkyB, the British Broadcasting Corp. and ITV Plc. Elisabeth declined a seat on the board of her father’s company in 2009 because it would conflict with her ownership of Shine.

Joining the board of News Corp., which owns 39.1 percent of BSkyB, would have meant Elisabeth no longer qualified as an independent producer.

The deal announced today for Shine follows Time Warner Inc.’s purchase of another U.K. production company, Shed Media, for 100 million pounds last August. Shed Media is behind shows such as “Supernanny” and “Footballers’ Wives.”

Elisabeth’s brother, James Murdoch, is the head of News Corp.’s European and Asian operations.

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