Why Rupert Murdoch’s mega deal is dead

Irenic has a stake in News Corp but pointed to the risks of owning Fox, which argued it was “subject to litigation that could result in billions of dollars in costs.”

This lawsuit in which Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News and its parent company Fox Corp for $1.6 billion over repeated allegations that it tampered with its voting machines as part of a conspiracy to steal the 2020 Presidential election from Donald Trump. Murdoch’s testimony in the case was heard last week.

Perhaps Murdoch’s motive was to do one last clean-up for the company as he gets deeper into his 90s that would pave the way for his eldest son, Lachlan, to more easily control the Empire.

Independent Franchise Partners, a major investor in Murdoch’s company, said in late November that it opposed the deal.

In addition, analysts at several major investment banks, including those traditionally close to the Murdoch camp, also pointed out the pitfalls of the proposed plan.

Everyone questioned how consolidating the two companies would simplify the group. Many argued that a large company with countless different media resources would make it less attractive.

Already, Fox and especially News Corp are trading well below their true value due to their complexity.

Shareholders and analysts had spoken out loudly against the plan.

Shareholders and analysts had spoken out loudly against the plan.Credit:AP

Perhaps Murdoch’s motive was to do one last cleanup for the company as he gets deeper into his 90s that would pave the way for his eldest son, Lachlan, to more easily control the Empire.

The reunification represented a reversal of a deal struck ten years ago to split the company in two, creating two separately publicly traded media companies.

When Murdoch decided to split up his multi-billion dollar corporate empire in 2013, News Corp was reeling from a phone-hacking scandal at its UK tabloids, and the print media business worldwide was facing major challenges.

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The empire has evolved significantly since then, and investors are more focused on true simplification. There have been moves to break up parts of the empire – on the basis that maximizing the value of Murdoch’s empire may require fragmentation rather than amalgamation.

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https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/why-rupert-murdoch-s-mega-deal-is-dead-20230125-p5cfbn.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_business Why Rupert Murdoch’s mega deal is dead

Brian Lowry

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