Murdoch Trumpets NewsCorp War Chest

21 October 2008

NEW YORK: News Corporation has a 'war chest' of $5billion (€3.7bn; £2.9bn) and is ready and willing to make acquisitions – its gaze falling on eastern Europe, India and elsewhere in Asia – according to chairman Rupert Murdoch (pictured).

Speaking at the company's annual meeting in New York, Murdoch said: "We are as well positioned as we can be to face what may well turn into a prolonged economic downturn."

The media mogul expects reduced levels of competition from NewsCorp's debt-laden media rivals, boasting that his organisation has an average debt maturity average [the time at which a debt has to be repaid] of twenty-two years.

Additional to a focus on the three aforementioned markets, Murdoch is also interested in expanding pay-TV operations in Europe.

Increasing revenues from subscription and digital media assets are among his other priorities.

Speaking about making purchases from struggling competitors Viacom and CBS, he said: "If they were at a very reasonable price, yes. But I'm not sure they have anything for sale."

Murdoch also branded the decision by UK media regulator Ofcom that BSkyB would have to reduce its share in ITV – the country's largest commercial broadcaster – as a "huge injustice".

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff