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News Corp considers splitting into two separate units

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 21:27

New York: Global media and entertainment group News Corp, which has good presence in India, Tuesday said it was considering to split the businesses into two distinct publicly traded companies.

The Rupert Murdoch-led conglomerate did not provide specific details about the proposed restructuring.

In a brief statement, News Corp confirmed that it was "considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies".

The Wall Street Journal, owned by News Corp, earlier reported that the group was looking to split itself into two separate businesses.

News Corp, with interests in news, entertainment and sports segments, owns some well known brands such as Star channels, The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins, The New York Post and the Times of London.

Its shares surged 6.3 percent to USD 21.36 at Nasdaq.

The Wall Street Journal today reported that News Corp was planning to separate its publishing assets from the entertainment businesses.

The split would carve off News Corp's film and television businesses, including 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcast network and Fox News channel from its newspapers, book publishing assets and education businesses, it noted.

As per report, News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch, who had previously opposed such a move recently warmed up to the idea.

The entertainment assets make up by far the bulk of the company, contributing three-quarters of the USD 25.34 billion in revenue for the first nine months of the fiscal year and accounted for roughly 90 per cent of the operating profit in that period, the report said.

Meanwhile, in April this year, Star Group said it was exiting from news business in India and woudld brand association with the ABP Group in their joint venture that runs three news channels, including Star News in Hindi.

Star India is a leading media and entertainment company, broadcasting 33 channels in eight languages, including Star Plus, Star World, Star Movies, Channel V and Star Gold.

This month, News Corp announced that it would buy out ESPN Inc's stake in their joint venture ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) to gain full control of the sports broadcaster.

"News Corporation's acquisition of the interest of ESS that we did not already own continues the program of simplifying our operating model, consolidating our affiliate ownership structures...," News Corp Deputy CEO James Murdoch had said in a statement.

ESS is a 50:50 joint venture between News Corporation and ESPN, an arm of the Walt Disney Co.

The transaction would allow News Corporation units to own and operate all of the ESS businesses while providing ESPN more independence and flexibility in future support of The Walt Disney Company's overall efforts in Asia, the statement had said.

At the end of March 2012, News Corp's total assets stood at about USD 61 billion while annual revenues were around USD 34 billion.

News Corp operates in cable network programming, filmed entertainment, television, direct broadcast satellite television and publishing, among others.


First Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 13:13
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