May 24, 2013
News Corp Board Approves Split
From Forbes.com — News Corp. directors will move forward with billionaire CEO Rupert Murdoch's plans to shake-up the company, approving the split of slower growing assets from the more profitable businesses next month. The board also approved a $500 million stock repurchase program to follow the split.
The spinoff, set for June 28, will create two companies. There will be 21st Century Fox, a grouping of cable and broadcast networks, and another that will keep the firm's existing name, News Corp, and consist of newspapers and book publishing. Existing shareholders will receive one share of the print media company as a stock dividend for every four current News Corp. shares.
News Corp. also offered details on who will ascend to the board of the two companies. Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James will take seats on both. Also on the print media company's board: John Elkann, the one-time Fiat chairman; Ana Paula Pessoa, a partner at PR agency Brunswick Group and a former executive at South American media company Globo; and Masroor Siddiqui, an investing type from Naya Management. And at 21st Century Fox: Delphine Arnault, a Christian Dior deputy general manager; Jacques Nasser, the former Ford CEO; and Robert Silberman, executive chairman at Strayer Education.
A $500 million stock buyback of the publishing company's shares will follow the split. The so-called new News Corp. will include esteemed, if aging, titles like The Wall Street Journal, The Times and The Sun.
21st Century Fox will have the namesake film studio and TV networks as well as the National Geographic Channels and stakes in BSkyB and Tata Sky.
Shares of News. Corp rose 0.9% to $33.18 in pre-market trading. Since announcing its intention to spin off the publishing assets last June, News Corp. shares rallied about 47.3%. How does that compare to its major media peers? About middle of the pack. It beats out The Walt Disney Company (up 36.3%) and Comcast (34.7%), but lags behind CBS (59.7%) and Viacom (47.2%).