News Corp bids £1.3bn for Packer's Australian TV business

One of the longest-running rivalries in the media business is set to come to an end after Rupert Murdoch's News Corp made a bid of 2bn Australian dollars (£1.3bn) for James Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings.

Packer is the son of the late Kerry Packer, who fought many battles with Murdoch for control of the Australian press.

But the youngest Packer is preparing to abandon the media in favour of casinos and indicated he would accept the offer in the absence of a higher bid for the pay-TV firm, in which he holds 50.1 per cent.

For News Corp, a successful bid would double its stake in Australia's dominant pay TV business Foxtel to 50 per cent, and give it 100 per cent of content provider Fox Sports.

The bid by News Corp's local unit, publisher of The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, to increase its pay-TV interests comes as it is expected to announce deep cost cuts and job losses in its print business.