SYDNEY, Australia — News Corp. Ltd., the global media conglomerate headed by Rupert Murdoch, said today it has reached agreement with its lenders on a rescheduling of $7.6 billion in debts.
The company, which has television, film, magazine, newspaper and book interests in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, will also get access to another $600 million in cash as part of the deal.
In the United States, News Corp. owns 20th Century Fox film studio, the Fox Broadcasting network, TV Guide and HarperCollins books.
News Corp. said in a statement that the $7.6 billion in short- and medium-term debt has been extended for three years and will become due in February, 1994.
The new $600-million credit facility will be used to finance continuing working capital and capital expenditure requirements and will be repaid by February, 1992, the company said.
Murdoch, who is chief executive, said the new debt arrangements represent a "major strengthening of the company's financial condition."
"Heavy capital expenditure in all our newspapers and expansion of our television and film activities last year coincided with an extreme tightening of the credit markets, causing a liquidity crunch," Murdoch said.
"We appreciate the commitment shown by our lenders. We are now able to concentrate on managing and developing all our businesses."
Citibank of New York and Samuel Montagu and Co. of London, the merchant bank subsidiary of Midland Group, coordinated the refinancing of the debt with News Corp.'s 100 banks and lenders around the world.
Under the agreement, News Corp. is committed to reduce total debt by $800 million by next February and by $400 million more in each subsequent six-month period covered by the deal.
News Corp. said the periodic reductions will come from a mixture of asset sales, equity and earnings.