Murdoch back in 'Vogue'

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The Independent Online

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has snapped up Vogue Australia in an A$180m (£75m) deal.

News Limited, the Australian arm of Mr Murdoch's publishing group, News Corp, is acquiring a total of 25 magazines from the Federal Publishing Company. As well as Vogue, titles include Delicious and Australian Golf Digest.

It is understood that the group, which already owns Australia's only national broadsheet, The Australian, outbid some of its main rivals to land the magazines. These included James Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting, Pacific Magazines (controlled by fellow tycoon Kerry Stokes) and John Fairfax Holdings.

The Australian authorities recently agreed a package of media reforms that will allow foreign ownership and greater cross-media consolidation, sparking a flurry of deals.

Before the Vogue acquisition, for instance, News Corp had already snapped up a 7.5 per cent stake in John Fairfax for A$364m. Mr Murdoch, who is chairman and chief executive of News Corp, reportedly said he had acquired the stake "just to make it difficult" for anyone else to take over. Analysts see the owner of The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald as a target for rival publishing groups as it does not have a proprietor.

Mr Murdoch founded News Corp in his native Australia in 1952 but then moved its main listing to the US.

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