Key Fox and News Corp. shareholder Independent Franchise Partners has come out against a plan by Rupert Murdoch to recombine the two companies.
Last month, Fox and News Corp said they had formed a special committee to explore a combination that would reunite Murdoch’s media empire. A representative for IFP confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter the approach by the London-based investment firm to Fox and News Corp.
Their opposition was first reported on by the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Murdoch has a controlling stake in Fox, while IFP as a key shareholder has a 7.7 percent stake and another 7 percent stake in News Corp.
Fox Corp. owns the Fox broadcast network, Fox News and Fox Sports, among other ancillary businesses, while News Corp houses The Wall Street JournalDow Jones, News UK, the New York PostRealtor.com, HarperCollins and the Australian pay TV company FoxTel.
The Wall Street Journal said IFP approached News Corp.’s boardroom to argue any potential recombination of Fox and News Corp. would not secure full shareholder value of both companies, and that any merger should include the sale of key assets at News Corp. as part of any strategic alternatives.
All Murdoch-controlled businesses were previously housed under the News Corp. banner until the company split apart in 2013. Fox ultimately sold most of its entertainment assets to The Walt Disney Co. in a $71 billion deal in 2019.