Yesterday the News Corp board voted unanimously in favour of a division of assets into two companies.
The division will separate the group’s publishing arm, still entangled in liabilities from the UK phone hacking scandal, from its entertainment businesses, including 20th Century Fox and the Fox News Channel.
Speculation about the decision, which began with an announcement in News Corp’s own newspaper, the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, has caused an increase of 11 percent in News Corp share prices and an increase of 3 per cent in BSkyB shares in London.
The entertainment arm of the company would be significantly larger, bringing in potential operating profits of up to $2.8bn, compared against the publishing division’s profits of $864m.
The move will protect the profitable entertainment division from the growing liabilities of the phone-hacking scandal, which continue to plague the publishing division.