News Corp ‘considering’ restructure

News Corporation has confirmed it is considering a restructure to split its publishing and entertainment businesses into two distinct publicly traded companies.

Sun on Sunday

The proposal would mean businesses such as News International, the Wall Street Journal and book publisher HarperCollins would be operated separately from its Fox television network and movie studio arm as well as its 39% stake in BSkyB.

The New York Times reports that the Murdoch family are likely to retain control of the newly split companies.

News Corp’s entertainment businesses are now far more profitable than its publishing divisions. Publishing accounted for just $130m of News Corp’s total $1.3bn operating income in the three months to 31 March.

Separating the publishing business may also help distance the negative associations of last year’s phone hacking scandal from the entertainment arm. The fallout from the scandal has already resulted in News Corp being forced to drop its bid to take full control of BSkyB.

The split is also likely to increase shareholder value, by showing an intention to focus on its more lucrative film and television assets.

News Corporation shares were up 6.82 to $21.66 at the time of writing after reports broke in the US about the potential restructure today (26 June).

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