News Corp Chief Executive and Chairman Rupert Murdoch sold off the bulk of his common shareholding according to a regulatory filing but, have no fear the 80 year-old mogul is still very much in charge both in terms of management and financial control.
According to the filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, from Nov 16 to Nov 17 Murdoch sold a total of 3.6 million News Corp A shares for between $16.76 and and $17.07 each for a total value of some $62 million. This means Murdoch”s A shares holding went down to just 381,000 from around 4 million. The elder Murdoch had made the disposals for “financial planning” reasons, according to a source. Back in February Murdoch had bought 2.8 million A shares for between $17.19 to $17.53.
News Corp shares got battered through the summer dropping as much as 25 percent as the parent of Fox, Wall Street Journal and Twentieth Century Fox reeled from an escalating phone hacking scandal at its UK newspaper arm. Murdoch did undertake some relatively minor buying and selling of A shares over the summer.
Despite the sell-off Murdoch remains fully in control of News Corp through his family’s 40 percent stake in the B shares which have voting rights and control the company (A shares do not have voting rights).