News Corp. has put its newspapers, book publishing, digital education, sports programming, digital real estate business and Australian pay-TV distribution assets into a new company.
In a statement to the ASX, the new company’s name is New Newscorp LLC. It will eventually change its name to News Corp. Fox Group Inc. will control the other assets of executive chairman Rupert Murdoch’s business empire.
New News Corp.’s titles include the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, The Australian, the Herald Sun, Factiva, The Sun, the Times, Fox Sports Australia, HarperCollins and Foxtel, as well as Business Spectator.
In the 12 months to June 30, 2012 New News Corp. had sales of $8.65 billion. The company’s loss before income tax benefit was $2.37 billion. Its EBITDA was $782 million.
News Corp. shareholders who hold the company’s class A or B stock are entitled to receive shares in the New News Corp.’s class A and class B shares but the amount of stock investors are entitled to has yet to be determined. The number of shares a shareholder will own in Fox Group’s class A or B stock will not change.
New News Corp. says it plans to invest in premium content, leverage its content across its digital platforms, bolster results through increased integration and supplement advertising revenue with subscription sales.
Among the risk factors detailed in the ASX statement, New News Corp. says there may be a decline in advertising in its newspapers. The inability to renew sports programming rights in Australia could cause revenue decline. Future acquisitions carry risk. The company does not have the right to manage Foxtel and it still faces investigation by U.K. and U.S. authorities over phone hacking, illegal data access and inappropriate payments to public officials.
The Murdoch Family Trust currently holds 38 percent of News Corp. class B stock. Rupert Murdoch owns 39 percent and the Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal owns 7 percent.