The rumors are true. News Corporation announces intent to pursue separation of businesses to enhance strategic alignment and increase operational flexibility. The Separation would create two category-leading public companies.
News Corp. today announced that it intends to pursue the separation of its publishing and media and entertainment businesses into two distinct publicly traded companies.
The proposed transaction would create global category leaders in both publishing and entertainment: a publishing company, which would be comprised of News Corporation's newspapers and information businesses in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, the Company's leading book publishing brands, its integrated marketing services company, its digital education group, as well as its other assets in Australia; and a global media and entertainment company, which would encompass News Corporation's broadcast and worldwide cable networks, leading film and television production studios, television stations and highly successful pay-TV businesses in Europe and India.
"There is much work to be done, but our Board and I believe that this new corporate structure we are pursuing would accelerate News Corporation's businesses to grow to new heights, and enable each company and its divisions to recognize their full potential – and unlock even greater long-term shareholder value," said Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation. "News Corporation's 60-year heritage of developing world-class media brands has resulted in a large and unparalleled portfolio of diversified assets. We recognize that over the years, News Corporation's broad collection of assets have become increasingly complex. We determined that creating this new structure would simplify operations and greater align strategic priorities, enabling each company to better deliver on our commitments to consumers across the globe. I am 100 percent committed to the future of both the publishing and media and entertainment businesses and, if the Board ultimately approves a separation, I would serve as Chairman of both companies."
News Corporation believes that a separation of the businesses into distinct public corporations with their own identities and strategies would enhance overall shareholder value and allow each company to:
- Focus on and pursue distinct strategic priorities and industry-specific opportunities that would maximize their long-term potential.
- Benefit from greater financial and operational flexibility and better position each company to compete.
- Respond and react more quickly to rapidly-evolving technology and global market opportunities.
- Tailor its capital structure, and allocate and deploy resources in a manner consistent with its strategic objectives that best enhances value for its respective shareholder group.
In addition to shareholder approval, the completion of the separation will also be subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, opinions from tax counsel and favorable rulings from certain tax jurisdictions regarding the tax-free nature of the transaction to the Company and to its shareholders, further due diligence as appropriate, and the filing and effectiveness of appropriate filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company will provide interim updates as appropriate. There can be no assurances given that the separation of the Company's businesses as described in this announcement will occur.