News Corp stocks up on Premiere shares

International media concern News Corp has increased its stake in German pay-TV operator Premiere to 30.5%.

The move was made in the process of a capital increase through which the Munich-based broadcaster will gain a cash-injection of €411.6 million. Around 367 million new shares were issued at €1.12 per share. 30.7% of the new shares were acquired by News Corp with the rest being purchased by other stockholders. News Corp hitherto held 29% in Premiere.

“The high take-up rate is a strong sign of confidence from our shareholders,” said Mark Williams, CEO of Premiere. “The capital increase is a fundamental step for Premiere. We are now in the position to build a successful pay-TV business in Germany and Austria.”

Williams wants to put the ailing broadcaster back on track with a comprehensive relaunch this summer, including a new bouquet and price structure, an expanded basic package, new HDTV channels and possibly a new name.