Newspaper publisher Rupert Murdoch has purchased a 50% interest in two independent Hungarian newspapers for $4 million, the official MTI news agency said Sunday.
The Australian-born entrepreneur closed the deals Saturday amid signs he plans to expand his newspaper empire into Eastern Europe, where democratic reforms have spawned dozens of independent publications.
MTI said Murdoch's firm, The News Corp., signed contracts Saturday to purchase 50% of the shares of the daily newspaper Mai Nap (Today's Day), which has a circulation of 100,000, and the weekly Reform, with a circulation of 400,000.
In addition to the $4 million purchasing price, Murcoch agreed to set up a $750,000 development fund for both papers, MTI said.
Both are independent tabloids that have a flashy style and sensational content not unlike many Murdoch tabloids in the West.