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News Int. Got Just £700k In PropertyFinder Sale

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Rebekah Brooks’ News International wrote off £17.8 million from its investment in REA UK, the joint holding company of PropertyFinder, before it sold the site to Zoopla in August.

The News Corp (NYSE: NWS) unit and Australian property group REA bought the site together for a reported £14.3 million in 2005, so things clearly didn’t work out too well.

In fact, Zoopla got a bargain – News Int. sold its stake for just £700,000, its newly-published accounts for the year to June 2009 show.

Further exiting the online property listings segment, it sold its 50 percent stake in Globrix back to the company’s founders in November – the price, accounts reveal, was £1.8 million.

Globrix subsequently sold the stake on to Associated Northcliffe Digital.

Accounts also show News International’s investment in shopping club BrandAlley in 2008 got it a 49 percent stake.

No wonder Mr Murdoch wants to find some paid web income…

— In the year to June 2009, News International’s pre-tax profit fell by a third from the previous year to £34.7 million.

— Operating losses trebled to £49.9 million from the year before, on nine percent lower revenue of £139.1 million.