News Corp. said it has agreed to swap its controlling interest in DirecTV Group, other assets and cash for Liberty Media's $11 billion stake in News Corp.
News Corp., the Rupert Murdoch-controlled owner of the 20th Century Fox movie studios and MySpace, said it will exchange its 38.5% stake in the top U.S. satellite television operator, $550 million in cash, and three regional sports networks for Liberty Media's 16.3% stake in News Corp.
The deal ends two years of negotiations between long-time associates Murdoch and Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, who once helped rescue Murdoch from near bankruptcy.
Malone had quietly snapped up close to a 20% voting stake in News Corp., a move that spooked Murdoch, who enacted an emergency poison pill provision to block a potential hostile
The swap deal has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close by mid-2007.