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Murdoch family to reunite

Rupert Murdoch

As expected, Elisabeth Murdoch will join the board of her father’s media empire, following an agreement by News Corporation to purchase Murdoch’s television production company, Shine Group.

In a statement, News Corp headed by Rupert Murdoch, said that it will buy Shine Group for £415 million, along with its debt of £50 million. The purchase will see his daughter take a seat in News Corp’s board for the first time since she quit the company in 2001 to found Shine – best known for shows like “Merlin”, and “MasterChef” in the UK.

Elisabeth Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of Shine Group said in a statement: “In a rapidly consolidating global TV industry, this alliance uniquely provides the conditions in which Shine Group can continue to lead and prosper.”

Purchase of Shine has been in talks for the last two months, and Murdoch had earlier appointed JP Morgan Chase to advice on strategy, including being acquired.

News Corp also said that Murdoch will not report to brother James, who is the chief executive of the company’s European division, but will instead answer to Chase Carey, deputy chairman and chief operating officer.

With this structure of operations, both Elisabeth and James will have a similar position at News Corp, which once again raises speculations about who will succeed 79-year-old Rupert. Previously, eldest son Lachlan was thought to have been the heir apparent, but he resigned from his executive position in 2005. This had left youngest son James to be the only family member directly involved with the company.

News Corp was created in 1979 by Rupert Murdoch. He was ranked the 13th most powerful person and the 117th wealthiest person in the world in 2010 by Forbes.

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