Prince Alwaleed stands by News Corp leadership
Jeddah, July 21, 2011
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he believes that News Corp will emerge from the current crisis and that he does not plan to sell any of his shares in the company.
Alwaleed, who says his Kingdom Holding is the second biggest shareholder in News Corp and controls 7 percent of the votes, told Reuters that he believes that News Corp's leadership should not change.
"The Murdoch family, Rupert and James, are committed to get to the bottom of it and cooperate with the police... I believe the problem is contained with News of the World and we will sell nothing," Alwaleed said.
"So we have to really get this thing going and to have the investigation continue until we see who are those who are incriminated so we can take action against them with the police."
This month News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World, Britain's top-selling Sunday tabloid, over growing allegations that its journalists had illegally accessed voice mails of thousands of people.
News Corp was also forced to back down on his biggest acquisition plan yet, the buyout of British pay TV operator BSkyB. Asked whether News Corp should bid again for the BSkyB shares it does not already own, Alwaleed said the company should resolve the current situation before looking at other investment moves.
"I think at this stage... now the concentration and emphasis should be to clean the situation and put the house in order and then later on we can look at other expansionary moves."
Kingdom Holding investment company has minority stakes in some of the world's top companies and is a main shareholder in Citigroup.
Alwaleed says he has not changed his view on his US investments in light of the latest developments with News Corp. "At the end of the day News Corp is going to get out of it and we have already seen the stock going up to over 16 now," he said. "I think Rupert and James Murdoch came very forcefully and strongly and will resolve and clear this mess very quickly and I respect that." - Reuters