Murdoch snaps up The Shine Group for around £700m

 
Steve Dinneen
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RUPERT Murdoch is set to buy the company his daughter founded after years of trying to get her to join the family company.

News Corp has agreed to buy independent TV production company The Shine Group, which is responsible for hit shows including Master Chef and Ashes to Ashes, in a deal valuing it at around £700m.

News Corp will use the firm’s content to bolster the appeal of its stations in Europe and the US.

The deal has yet to be finalised but sources close to the negotiations say a “deal in principle” has been struck.

Shine is the sixth-largest independent TV production firm in the UK.

Its profit forecasts for 2011 are £50m, after turning over £103m last year.

Elisabeth Murdoch will be the biggest winner in the deal, with her 53 per cent of the firm worth £371m. Sony will also cash in, with its 20 per cent stake worth £140m and BSkyB’s 13 per cent stake worth £91m.

The media tycoon has been desperate to lure Elisabeth back into his empire.

She was a senior figure at BSkyB before founding Shine in 2001. It is thought she will take a place on the News Corp board of directors.

FAST FACTS | SHINE

Elisabeth Murdoch founded The Shine Group in 2001 after falling out with her mentor at BSkyB Sam Chisholm.

Shine is responsible for the production of hit programmes including Master Chef.