Two years after, in effect, renouncing his claim to the title of heir apparent to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp media empire, Lachlan Murdoch may be poised to become head of another media empire formed in Australia by his father's late rival, Kerry Packer. According to published reports the younger Murdoch is teaming up with James Packer to take Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings, Australia's second-largest media company, private in a $2.9-billion deal in which the two will offer to buy the company's outstanding shares at a 25-percent premium. Consolidated controls the Nine Television Network and Foxtel, the nation's leading pay-TV channel, among other media holdings. It is also the country's leading magazine publisher. "I know these businesses really well," Lachlan Murdoch told Bloomberg News. "I have a history of running 35 TV stations in the U.S. and I have a pretty solid print background." He said that his father's News Corp is not involved in the deal. Packer, whose father died two years ago, is seeking to distance himself from operations of the company and concentrate instead on Crown Ltd, a gaming business that he spun off from Consolidated last year.
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