Former Israeli billionaire Haim Saban is holding negotiations for the purchase of 50% of the al-Jazeera television network from the Qatari government, Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon reported Wednesday. The negotiations are said to be conducted through an Egyptian mediator.
According to the report, the television network is experiencing financial trouble despite its immense popularity. This is the second time Saban is negotiating with the Qatari emir.
The media tycoon visited Qatar in 2003 together with former US President Bill Clinton, as part of a conference aimed at promoting peace in the Middle East.
Saban backed out of the same negotiations in the past without offering any explanation. His new offer was submitted recently through an Egyptian businessman.
In addition to the Saban Group’s media activity, and its stakes in Israeli communications company Bezeq, Saban used to be a musician and has a dual Istraeli-American citizenship. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1944, and immigrated to Israel in 1956.