NewsCorp envisages stock option to safegaurd stakes

MUMBAI: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Ltd. Today took preventive action in a bid to insulate itself against any hostile bid from the US cable company Liberty Media Corp.

The News Corp plan envisages issuing stock options to dilute the stake of any predator, according to a Reuters report from Sydney.

John Malone's Liberty began a transaction last week that could increase its voting stake in News Corp. to about 17 percent from nine per cent, raising speculation it could launch a takeover bid for Murdoch's media empire.

Realising that Liberty's Malone could make a hostile bid on an empire that Murdoch has built for his children, News Corp announced on Monday it would give its shareholders the right to buy one News Corp. share at half price for each share they own, if any party buys a 15 percent stake in the company. Shareholders would be able to buy up to $80 of half-price shares.

The strategy would exclude the purchaser of the 15 per cent stake, providing a "poison pill" defense against anyone plotting to take control of News Corp. from 73-year-old Murdoch and his heirs apparent, sons Lachlan and James.

"It means it's very much more expensive for Malone to maintain his position or extend his position in the company and he has to make the judgment as to whether it's worth it or not," Reuters quoted Michael O'Sullivan, president of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, which advises pension funds on corporate governance issues saying.

The existing holdings of Malone, a long-time ally of Murdoch, would not trigger the rights plan, but additional shareholdings would.

"The logic is to stop anyone acquiring the company or if they're going to acquire the company, they have to go and speak to the Murdoch interests. It locks the company up effectively," an analyst who refused to be named told Reuters.

According to News Corp said its move was prompted by Liberty's decision to engage investment bank Merrill Lynch in a hedging transaction for more than 80 million News Corp. Class B shares.

"There was no communication with the company about that decision before it was made, and it's too early to tell what Liberty's intentions are, but we're not necessarily treating them as friendly," said News Corp. spokesman Greg Baxter.

Could a Malone takeover change strategy for News Corp's pan-Asian venture, Star group, including the profitable venture in India? Difficult to say, but a new owner is certain to have his or her own vision, which could result in some expansions lined by Star India to be put in the cold storage.

But that is a big if, considering Murdoch is unlikely to give up control over an empire that he has built up so assiduously.Murdoch has groomed sons Lachlan, News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer, and James, BSkyB's chief executive, to eventually run News Corp.

Latest Reads
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

MUMBAI: Can businesses and industries practise their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India. If the traffic cop is watching,...

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Colors emerges strong on strength of Naagin I & II

MUMBAI: One of the top rated shows Naagin Season 2 helped Colors reach a top-ranking position.

Television TV Channels GECs
Pakistan Broadcasters Association to oppose PEMRA Indian content ban

MUMBAI: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) shocked both Pakistan and Indian broadcasters when it issued an order blanking out  all Indian content from Pakistan’s television channels on 19 October.

Television TV Channels GECs
Sony Pix to telecast 'Jurassic World' on 22 October

Sony Pix will take the viewers on a thrilling, adventurous journey with cloned dinosaurs in their Billion Dollar Premiere property. The channel plans to air Jurassic World on 22 October at 1 pm and 9 pm.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sony AXN scripts deal with Pinewood; buys stake in SVOD service Hopster

Folks at Sony Pictures Television (SPT) are in a celebratory mood. Not only has it signed a six-series deal with Pinewood Television but has also acquired a minority stake in the London-based video subscription service for kids content - Hopster.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories