News Corp. Officially Splits Into Two Companies
News Corp. officially is no more, and in its place is News Corp (without a period) and 21st Century Fox. The old News Corp. made its announcement late Friday by way of two press releases, one from each new company.
Beginning Monday, 21st Century Fox will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbols FOXA and FOX. The new News Corp will trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbols NWSA and NWS.
On Friday, shares of the old News Corp. fell fractionally to $32.82, giving the firm a $75.96 billion market cap. The two separate companies had already been trading on a "when-issued" basis, and that activity suggests that at the opening bell on Monday 21st Century Fox will have about a $67 billion market cap compared with a $9 billion market cap for News Corp, which is poised to be the largest separately traded U.S. print media company.
Late Friday, shares of News Corp. became shares of 21st Century Fox, plus, shareholders received one share of News Corp for every four shares of old News Corp. they owned.
“We are continuing a proud tradition and fashioning a prosperous future in the new News Corp,” new CEO Robert Thomson said in one of the press releases. “We have a valuable collection of complementary companies, and our task is to make the new News Corp more than the sum of these distinguished parts. We have a robust balance sheet and a team of creative, energetic and passionate employees who are determined to make the company a resounding success and to make a positive difference in their communities.”
News Corp's assets include the old company’s Australian assets and most of the worldwide print assets, including Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Telegraph, The Times of London, the New York Post and HarperCollins, as well as a digital education business.
The assets under 21st Century Fox include worldwide electronic media and entertainment businesses like the Fox broadcast network, Fox News Channel, 20th Century Fox Film, National Geographic Channels and interests in BSkyB and Tata Sky.
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“21st Century Fox launches as a unique force bringing news and entertainment to more than a billion customers every day in over 100 languages,” Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, said in a separate press release. “Our success will continue to be rooted in a deep belief in originality and a commitment to empowering creative minds and entrepreneurs around the world. Our management teams are the best in the business, and we will drive growth and shareholder value by expanding our existing assets and brands, while embracing new opportunities and technology.”