Southeastern Asset Management has acquired an 11.9 per cent voting stake in diversified media firm News Corporation, making it the largest shareholder in the company after Rupert Murdoch and his family trust.
The Tennessee-based investment advisory firm purchased 23.8 million Class B or voting shares in News Corp, valued at $397m based on a closing price of $16.72. The investment accounts to a 4.1 per cent economic interest in News Corp.
Rupert Murdoch and his family trust collectively hold a 39.4 per cent voting stake in News Corp, while Saudi Arabian investor Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud holds a 6.6 per cent of voting shares in News Corp.
Earlier this month, News Corp sold the 33 publications in its Dow Jones Local Media Group to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group for an undisclosed amount, marking the first disposal of the struggling media firm since its split in June.
In March, News Corp revealed its plans to sell its 44 per cent stake in Sky Network Television for $660m.
News Corp voting shares grew by seven cents to $16.79 recently. At 30 June 2013, Southeastern held a 1 per cent stake in News Corp.
Southeastern Asset Management has partnered with activist investor Carl Icahn to block Michael Dell’s $25bn takeover of Dell.
Southeastern, in a statement, said: “We continue to believe that the Michael Dell/Silver Lake transaction significantly undervalues the company and its prospects and denies stockholders the opportunity to participate in Dell's significant upside potential.”