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Murdoch to delist 21st Century Fox in his native Australia

Twenty-First Century Fox, controlled by the Murdoch family, has announced it plans to delist from the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), only six months after it was first listed as a standalone company, to simplify its capital structure.

Twenty-First Century Fox, controlled by the Murdoch family, has announced it plans to delist from the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), only six months after it was first listed as a standalone company, to simplify its capital structure.

According to chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch, the film and entertainment company no longer had sufficient operations in Australia to justify the listing.

Murdoch split his media empire into two distinct companies last summer – News Corp and 21st Century Fox – to protect the profitable entertainment businesses from News Corp's struggling publishing companies.

Twenty-First Century Fox will now only trade on the New York Stock Exchange, although News Corp, which is Australia's largest media company and owns more than a dozen newspaper titles, will keeps its ASX listing.

Australian-born Murdoch said in a statement: "We believe that consolidating the trading of our stock in the world's largest equity market would provide improved liquidity to [21st Century Fox's] stockholders."

He added that trading in a single securities regime would reduce the company's administrative burden.

Shareholders are due to vote on the proposed move in March or April, and the delisting could be completed by June, the company said.

It added the shift would probably reduce the amount of class B stock held by non-US shareholders to below 25%, which would allow it to restore full voting rights to non-US class B shareholders.

Under the rules of the US Federal Communications Commission, broadcasters cannot be more than 25% foreign controlled, so 21st Century Fox had suspended some voting rights for non-US shareholders.

But the company said 21st Century Fox ASX-listed shareholders would continue to own their shares through the NASDAQ.   

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