Media magnate Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire is seeking to buy out its partner in its European outdoor advertising business.

News Corp's News Outdoor, a joint venture with private equity firm Capital International, operates ad businesses in Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary, referred to as "emerging Europe". It also has interests in Russia, the Ukraine and Turkey.

The value of the buy-back, according to anonymous sources quoted by the New York Times, is around $1 billion (€797m; £543m). Capital International owns 25% of News Outdoor's parent News Out Of Home. Under the agreement NewsCorp must either buy it out or take the venture public.

Neither side has commented.

Newscorp is also keen to gain a foothold in the lucrative Russian television market and was recently outbid for a stake in Ren-TV [WAMN -05-Sept-05].

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff