US cable mogul John Malone is on the verge of closing a deal giving him an increased stake in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in return for the injection of assets into News Corporation.

The talks centre on transferring shares owned by Malone’s Liberty Media in Gemstar-TV Guide, an electronic program guides company, to NewsCorp. The deal would give Murdoch’s company 40% of Gemstar and raise Malone’s stake in NewsCorp from 7% to 20%.

Murdoch would, however, keep control of NewsCorp, since Malone would not hold voting stock.

The deal would strengthen Murdoch’s pursuit of leading US satellite broadcaster DirecTV, part of the General Motors-owned Hughes Electronics.

News source: Financial Times