News Corp. board approves company split, set for June 28
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. moved closer to the planned breakup of the $76-billion global media conglomerate as board members this week formally approved the split.
June 28 is the target separation date, News Corp. said Friday in a statement. The company announced directors of the boards for the company, which will be renamed 21st Century Fox, as well as the spinoff publishing group, which will assume the News Corp. name.
Existing shareholders will receive one share of the new News Corp. for every four Class A or Class B shares that they current own. The distribution of shares will be in the form of a dividend.
Board members also approved a repurchase program to buy back $500 million of shares in the new News Corp. Stockholders in the company are expected to vote next month on amendments that facilitate the split.
“We continue to believe that the separation will unlock the true value of both companies and their distinct assets, enabling investors to benefit from the separate strategic opportunities resulting from more focused management of each division,” Murdoch, the chief executive, said in a statement.
The company expects significant trading of stock in both companies after the split, so it approved a measure designed to prevent a sudden shift in corporate control that could diminish the influence of the Murdoch family. If any investor bought more than 15% of voting class shares within a year of the breakup, a so-called poison pill would be deployed to neutralize the position of that shareholder.
Three Murdochs -- Rupert and his two sons Lachlan and James -- will be board members of both 21st Century Fox and News Corp.
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