Rupert Murdoch halts possible merger of News Corp and Fox

Rupert Murdoch has withdrawn a proposal to bring back his News Corp and Fox Corp.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

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

“Mr. Murdoch noted that he and (Fox CEO and son) Lachlan K.

The elder Murdoch first floated 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 filings.

The media mogul had sent letters to the companies’ boards of directors, who had set up committees to consider a possible merger.

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

The Murdoch family controls both companies, but it spun off the Fox holdings into a separate company after selling a large portion of the Fox entertainment empire to The Walt Disney Company for $71 billion in a deal that closed in 2019.

In pre-market trading, News Corp. shares rose 1.8 percent, while Fox shares rose 3.9 percent.

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