February 8, 2023

Rupert Murdoch backs off plan to merge Fox and News Corp

Shortly thereafter, T. Rowe Price, one of News Corp’s largest shareholders, said in an interview With The New York Times, the proposed merger would undermine News Corp, which believes the company is trading below its value.

Further complicating matters was the disparate performance of each company’s share price — News Corp rose about 26 percent, while Fox gained about 3 percent — Mr. His initial plan would have divided ownership among shareholders based on the market value of each company, but did not specify how it would be divided.

The proposal raised questions about what it meant for succession at the companies, with many believing the merger would extend power to his father’s handpicked successor, Lachlan. Mr. Murdoch’s other son, James, wrote to the News Corp and Fox boards raising questions about the deal. I don’t know what those objections are.

A spokesman for Rupert Murdoch had no further comment.

The Murdoch family trust, which Rupert Murdoch controls with his eldest children, holds about 40 percent of the votes in both Fox and News Corp through its Class B shares. Any deal would require the approval of a majority of investors who are not part of the Murdoch trust.

In a statement, News Corp said the two special committees, News Corp and Fox Corp, had been disbanded. The two groups have moved toward a merger in recent weeks, with an outside firm offering to buy a major part of News Corp., according to two people familiar with the move.

CoStar Group, which provides data and marketing services to the commercial real estate industry, recently told News Corp that it was interested in buying the company’s stake in the digital real estate business at a valuation of more than $3 billion, the people said. . After talks with CoStar intensified, News Corp and Fox decided to suspend merger talks pending the outcome of negotiations with CoStar.

A spokeswoman for CoStar said the company continues to evaluate opportunities for mergers and acquisitions and declined to comment on potential discussions with News Corp.