News Corporation shareholders agree to split business

The separation is expected to be completed on 28 June 2013.

New Statesman
Rupert Murdoch. Credit: Getty Images.

Diversified media firm News Corporation’s shareholders have given their approval to Rupert Murdoch’s proposal to split the company into two independent, publicly traded firms.

The separation is expected to be completed on 28 June 2013.

The struggling publishing business will retain the News Corp. name, while the entertainment business will be renamed as 21st Century Fox.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, said: “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. We are on track to complete the separation on June 28 and look forward to launching two new industry leaders.”

The company first revealed its intention to pursue the separation of its business into two separate independent firms in June last year.

In May 2013, the company’s board of directors formally approved the separation of News Corporation into two distinct publicly traded companies.

Murdoch would serve as chairman and CEO of the proposed 21st Century Fox, and executive chairman of the News Corporation.

As part of the separation, 21st Century Fox will hold the global media and entertainment businesses, while new News Corporation will hold businesses of newspapers, information services and integrated marketing services, digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education and sports programming, and pay-TV distribution in Australia.

News Corporation, which holds approximately 40 per cent stake in pay-TV satellite broadcaster BSkyB, had total assets of approximately $68bn as of 31 March 2013. The company posted a net income of $2.85bn for the first quarter of 2013, compared to $937m for the same period last year.

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