Rupert Murdoch Calls Off Possible News Corp.-Fox Merger

Rupert Murdoch has canceled a proposal to bring News Corp. and Fox Corp. back together, saying the merger does not come at the right time for shareholders.

In similar remarks Tuesday, the companies said their boards received letters from Murdoch withdrawing the plan.

“Mr. Murdoch indicated that he and (his son and Fox Corp. CEO) Lachlan K. Murdoch have determined that a combination is not optimal for News Corp. and FOX shareholders at this time,” the statements said.

The older Murdoch first raised the merger of News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Sun and The Times in the UK, and book publisher HarperCollins, and Fox Corp., which controls Fox News , Fox Sports and local television stations. , in October, according to regulatory documents.

The media mogul had sent letters to company boards, which formed committees to discuss a possible merger.

News Corp. started as a single company but split in two in 2013: 21st Century Fox with the entertainment assets and News Corp. with the publishing and media assets, including The Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins.

The Murdoch family controls both corporations, but spun off the Fox properties into a separate company after selling a large chunk of the Fox entertainment empire to Walt Disney Co. for $71 billion in a deal that closed in 2019.

In premarket trading, News Corp. shares added 1.8%, while Fox shares rose 3.9%.

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