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Murdoch family becomes second largest Disney shareholder with Fox deal

Murdoch family becomes second largest Disney shareholder with Fox deal
Rupert Murdoch and his family will become the second largest shareholders in Walt Disney Co. once its acquisition of 21st Century Fox is compete. (Dennis Van Tine / TNS)

Once 21st Century Fox shareholders swap their holdings for Walt Disney Co. stock, Rupert Murdoch and his family will become the Burbank entertainment giant's second largest shareholders, behind only mutual fund giant Vanguard.

The Murdochs’ roughly 4.4% stake would represent the largest position in Disney held by an individual or family since a trust controlled by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, trimmed its Disney stake from nearly 8% to about 4% early this year. Jobs had become Disney's largest shareholder when he sold animation studio Pixar to Disney in 2006.

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Powell Jobs, currently Disney's No. 4 shareholder, would fall to fifth after the deal. Other major shareholders — mutual fund companies and other institutional investment managers — hold stakes in both firms and would see their combined positions little changed.

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