Murdoch gives $100 mil to each of 6 children


NEW YORK -- Media moguls Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone took care of important family business last week.

The family trust of News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has distributed $100 million worth of Class A nonvoting company shares to each of Murdoch's six children, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a company spokesman.

The $600 million award is for financial planning purposes, a company spokesman said Friday.

It marks the first major distribution to the Murdoch children and comes after a recent settlement of a dispute about which kids should get how much. A key sticking point was whether Murdoch's two youngest children with his third wife, Wendi Deng, should get the same treatment as his older offspring.

Meanwhile, Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. chairman and controlling shareholder Redstone last week settled a lawsuit with estranged son Brent over his family's fortune, a spokesman confirmed Sunday.

Under the settlement deal, National Amusements, the family business through which Redstone controls CBS and Viacom, bought back the one-sixth stake that Brent Redstone had held in it, a source confirmed in a report by the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesman for Redstone declined comment on the terms of the settlement.

Murdoch's children include James Murdoch, CEO of U.K. satellite TV provider British Sky Broadcasting, and Lachlan Murdoch, the former COO of News Corp.

In an SEC filing Friday, the Murdoch Family Trust said that it has handed out nearly 26.19 million shares of Class A common stock in the distribution to the children. The trust now holds another nearly 33.96 million such shares plus about 300 million shares of voting stock.

Each child received indirect ownership of more than 4.36 million shares, according to an SEC filing for son Lachlan. He holds the newly received shares via the LKM Family Trust, which is named after him.

A News Corp. spokesman Friday declined comment.

News Corp. voting shares closed the week at $24.44, with the nonvoting stock finishing it at $23.32. The voting stock has traded from $16.44-$24.52 during the past year. The nonvoting stock has traded from $15.50-$23.46.