Murdoch's News Corp makes $2 bn offer for Packer's pay TV

News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch''s international media company, announced on Wednesday that it had made a takeover bid for Australian James Packer''s Consolidated Media Holdings (CMH) at a cost of 1.97 billion dollar AU dollars ( 2.00 billion U.S. dollars).

Melbourne: Unfazed by his media empire facing scrutiny in the UK and elsewhere, Rupert Murdoch's News Limited is mulling a USD 2 billion take over bid for billionaire James Packer's pay TV company, Consolidated Media Holdings.

Murdoch's Australian arm of the News Corp is bidding to take full control of the Packer company and a successful bid would double his stake in Australia's dominant pay TV market, APP news agency reported.

Packer, who is abandoning his media empire in favour of his new love casinos, has indicated he would accept the offer in the company, in which he holds 50 per cent shareholdings.

Murdoch's News Limited has offered 3.50 Australian dollars for each Consolidated Media share, valuing the company at 1.97 billion Australian dollars (USD 2 billion).

The proposal, however, is subject to approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The 81-year-old Australian media tycoon's move comes as he announced a major restructure to consolidate his Australian operations, merging its print and digital businesses with an unspecified number of job losses.

James Packer, executive chairman of ConsMedia's largest shareholder Consolidated Press Holdings, said, "CPH welcomes News' proposal and looks forward to CMH and News working together to address the detailed terms and conditions."

If the proposed transaction proceeds, it is unlikely to complete until the final quarter of 2012.