T. Rowe Price raises concerns about News Corp’s merger with Fox
That resistance presents the Murdoch family with a delicate balancing act, said Eric Talley, a Columbia Law School professor who specializes in corporate law and corporate governance. The decision to raise concerns about the merger among News Corp investors could be aimed at fetching a higher price for its shares. At the same time, Fox Corp shareholders would likely object to an overly cheap deal for News Corp investors.
“There is a breaking point here where the game becomes unworthy of gambling,” said Mr. Talley.
Fox and News Corp have declined to make their executives available to discuss the merger on paper. But in November, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on a earnings call that a series of recent mega-mergers in the media industry have underscored the importance of size.
“Size matters,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son. “Scaling gives flexibility in many ways.”
News Corp’s CEO Robert Thomson commended the deal in a note to employees in October, adding that the company had posted two straight years of record profits.
Like some other News Corp shareholders, Mr. DeAugustino said he thinks the confusion among investors has caused them to undervalue News Corp’s stock, in part because it owns a diverse collection of properties, including a stake in the real estate business of the REA Group about $5.7 billion. Irenic argues that News Corp stock, now trading at $18 a share, could be worth $34 a share.
Mr. DeAugustino said he agrees with other investors that it might make sense to spin off his real estate or Dow Jones businesses. T. Rowe wants the select committee to consider all of its options.
But he added: “For a patient investor who is willing to wait out temporary pressures, perhaps doing nothing is the best option.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/25/business/dealbook/news-corps-fox-merger.html T. Rowe Price raises concerns about News Corp’s merger with Fox