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Friday, January 27, 2023

Fox-News Corp. merger dies as Rupert Murdoch withdraws proposed deal – The Hollywood Reporter

The proposed merger of Fox Corp. and News Corp. is dead, after Rupert Murdoch sent a letter to the companies’ boards withdrawing his proposal to reunite his media empire.

“In withdrawing the proposal, Mr. Murdoch indicated that he and Lachlan K. Murdoch have determined that a combination is not optimal for News Corp and Fox shareholders at this time,” according to a News Corp board statement. “As As a result of this action, the Special Committee of the News Corp Board of Directors has been dissolved.”

Fox issued a substantially similar statement on Tuesday, using the same “non-optimal” language.

Murdoch kicked off merger discussions last October when he sent a letter to the boards of Fox Corp. and News Corp. asking them to consider combining the companies. Both Fox and News Corp. formed special committees to examine a possible deal.

While Murdoch, through his family trust, effectively has control of the two companies, a merger would require the approval of a majority of shareholders not affiliated with Murdoch. Since then, a handful of major shareholders, including T. Rowe Price and Irenic Capital Management, have raised concerns about the deal, particularly around the valuation of any potential deal.

The abandoned merger may fuel speculation about the future of both companies, as other stakeholders could see the failed deal as an opening for talks.

News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journali Dow Jones, the new york post officeAustralia’s Foxtel pay-TV service and other digital assets, while Fox Corp. owns the Fox broadcast network, Fox News, Fox Sports and other assets.

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