Activist investor Starboard reportedly seeks changes at News Corp

Activist investor Starboard Value has built a stake in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and intends to push for changes at the parent company of MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal, according to a report Sunday night.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Starboard believes the media giant is undervalued and will seek strategic and governance changes, including spinning off News Corp’s online real-estate unit, which includes parent Move Inc., and doing away with the company’s dual-class share structure, which currently gives the Murdoch family outsized voting power.

The extent of Starboard’s stake was not revealed, but sources told the Journal it was “sizeable.” The Journal noted that because the Murdoch family controls a roughly 40% voting stake in News Corp, effecting change could be difficult if they were not on board.

Last month, Rupert Murdoch said he would step down as chair of News Corp and Fox Corp.

as of the end of November. His oldest son, Lachlan, will become sole chair of News Corp., whose chief executive is Robert Thomson.

News Corp’s Class A shares

are up about 15% year to date, while Class B shares

are up about 18% in 2023. The S&P 500
in comparison, has gained about 13% this year.

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