News Corp. declines to hint on possible purchases


News Corp. has more than $10 billion in cash, prompting much speculation about possible takeover targets as company Chairman Rupert Murdoch prepares to split his media empire into two publicly traded companies next year.

Murdoch last month expressed interest in buying the Penguin book publishing house from Pearson, but in an apparent snub to Murdoch, the company instead agreed to merge Penguin with Random House, owned by Bertelsmann.

News Corp. owns a rival publishing house, HarperCollins. News Corp. plans to spin off its publishing assets into a separate company next summer.


Murdoch also has been mentioned as a possible suitor for the Financial Times, also owned by Pearson, as well as the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, two flagship properties of Tribune Co., which is preparing to exit bankruptcy proceedings after nearly four years.

On Tuesday, News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey seemed to downplay his company’s interest in the Los Angeles Times.

“I’m not going to get too deep into all the rumors on what we’re buying or what we’re looking at,” Carey said when asked about possible acquisition targets during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

“Obviously we should look at some things,” Carey said. “There are a lot of places where we think we should kick the tires on things, places where we think we could add something that makes sense for us. But our focus is really on building and growing our businesses.”


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