MILAN. Step back by Rupert Murdoch on the merger plan between the Fox group and the holding company that brings together the newspapers owned by him News Corp, including the Wall Street Journal, The Times and the New York Post. In a letter sent to Fox’s board, the publishing magnate and his son explained that it is “a suboptimal combination for shareholders” of the two companies at this time. The potential merger had pissed off shareholders in recent months, who didn’t believe the deal would add value to News Corp. At that point, Murdoch had proposed reuniting his media empire, arguing that the merger of the publishing and entertainment companies, which had separated in 2013, would give the merged entity greater reach in news, live sports and information. Activist partner Irenic Capital, who was among the first to say the merger proposal would likely undervalue News Corp, yesterday welcomed Murdoch’s stop not to proceed.
According to the Financial Times, however, Murdoch would be at an advanced stage in the sale of his 80% stake in Move to rival CoStar. The stake in the company, which owns Realtor.com and other real estate websites in the United States, is valued at “a few billion” dollars.