Murdochs to host Indian PM at New York event


Rebecca Hawkes

| 23 September 2015

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to meet with senior media executives at a New York gathering hosted by 21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch and his CEO son James this week.

They will be joined by other Fox executives, including the CEO of Star India, Uday Shankar, and News Corp's CEO Robert Thomson.

The Star India division shines brightly in 21st Century Fox's orbit, and was recently valued at US$11.2 billion by global brokerage company Morgan Stanley .

"The top opportunity continues to be international, led by Star," John Nallen, CFO, Fox told a recent investor conference. "Star clearly is going to lead a lot of our international growth."

The company expects Star India's growth to contribute US$500 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation in 2018.

The Murdochs have advocated higher foreign direct investment (FDI) ceilings in India's media industry and are keen to expand their presence in the country, according to The Hindu newspaper. However, the meeting in New York will have no specific agenda, News Corp has said.

Prime Minister Modi will also visit the campuses of Facebook and Google in Silicon Valley during his seven-day tour of the United States.

On Facebook, Modi thanked the social network's CEO Mark Zuckerberg for the invitation, adding: "It would be after a gap of almost 33 years that an Indian PM would be visiting the [USA's] west coast — the home of start-ups, innovation and technology."