News Corp. Completes Sale of Sky N.Z. Stake in Share Placing

News Corp. completed the sale of its 44 percent stake in Sky Network Television Ltd., New Zealand’s largest pay-TV operator.

News Ltd., a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s media company, sold the shares to a range of institutional investors, Sky Network said in a statement today. Sky Network’s shares fell as low as NZ$4.84 after a block of 163.1 million crossed at NZ$4.80 prior to the market’s open.

News appointed Deutsche Bank AG and Craigs Investment Partners to sell the holding, Sky Network said yesterday. The sale will free up capital amid News Corp.’s plans to separate its television business from the declining publishing division by the middle of this year.

Sky Network shares fell 21 New Zealand cents, or 4.1 percent, to NZ$4.96 at 11:16 a.m. in Wellington.