Soon after, one of News Corp’s largest shareholders, T. Rowe Price, he said in an interview with The New York Times that the proposed merger would likely undervalue News Corp, which believed it was trading below the value of the company.
Complicating matters was the mixed performance of each company’s share price — News Corp jumped nearly 26 per cent while Fox rose 3 per cent — since Murdoch’s proposal became public. His initial plan would have divided ownership among shareholders based on each company’s market capitalization, but did not specify how it would be divided.
The proposal raised questions about what succession would mean in the companies, as many believed a merger would give Lachlan, his father’s chosen heir, expanded power. Murdoch’s other son, James, wrote letters to the boards of News Corp and Fox raising questions about the deal. It is not clear what those objections are.
A spokesman for Rupert Murdoch had no further comment.
The Murdoch Family Fund, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch with his eldest children, holds nearly 40 percent of the vote in both Fox and News Corp through Class B shares. Any transaction required the approval of a majority of investors who are not part of the Murdoch Fund.
News Corp said in its statement that the special committees of News Corp and Fox Corp had been dissolved. Both committees made progress toward a merger in recent weeks when an outside company offered to acquire a large portion of News Corp., according to two people familiar with the move.
The people said CoStar Group, a provider of data and marketing services to the commercial real estate sector, recently told News Corp that it was interested in acquiring the company’s stake in digital real estate company Move worth more than $3 billion. . After talks with CoStar became serious, News Corp. and Fox decided to pause merger talks pending the outcome of negotiations with CoStar.
A CoStar spokesperson said the company is constantly evaluating merger and acquisition opportunities, and declined to comment on potential discussions with News Corp.