News Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch has sold over 90% of his class A stock in the family-controlled media conglomerate but will remain in control of the company thanks to its dual-class share system.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, between 16 and 17 of November, the 80-year-old sold 3.6 million of the company’s class A shares, worth about $17 (€12.5) each, for a total of $62 million.
This brings Murdoch’s class A asset down to 381,229 shares, from about 4 million. According to the last quarterly filing with the SEC, News Corp has so far issued about 1.8 billion ordinary shares.
However, it does not affect Murdoch’s control of the firm, as the family holds just under 40% of News Corp’s class B shares, which carry special voting rights at the company.
News Corp shares fell 25% during the summer, when the alleged illegal activities of the now defunct British newspaper News of the World were revealed.
Murdoch founded News Corp in 1979 as the holding company for Australian publisher News Limited, established by his father. Today the group, which includes UK-based newspaper The Times, American film studio Twentieth Century Fox and The Wall Street Journal, is one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world.