News Corp. shareholders approve plan to split company
News Corp shareholders Tuesday approved a plan to split the Rupert Murdoch-led conglomerate into two independent firms, one focusing on entertainment and the other on newspaper operations.
The vote came as no surprise, since Murdoch and his immediate family hold a majority of voting shares in the media-entertainment powerhouse.
“We are pleased that the proposals have been approved by an overwhelming majority of the outstanding shares, and that our shareholders clearly recognize the anticipated benefits of the separation,” Murdoch said in a statement.
“We are on track to complete the separation on June 28 and look forward to launching two new industry leaders.”
One company will focus on news and publishing, to retain the News Corp name, and another on television and film, to be called 21st Century Fox.
The split spins off the publishing operations, which have been hit by the slump in the newspaper industry, from the more profitable entertainment assets.
The company announced the restructuring last June, a move partly seen as a nod to shareholders angered by the reputational damage and costs inflicted by a phone hacking scandal in Britain, and partly because of troubles within the group’s publishing arm.
The new News Corporation will include newspapers in Britain, Australia and the United States, including The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London. It also includes digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education and sports programming and pay-TV distribution in Australia.