News Corporation, the Murdoch family-controlled media empire, has confirmed that it does not expect James Murdoch to be part of the takeover negotiations for satellite broadcaster BSkyB.
However avoiding a conflict of interest appears impossible for James, who is son of News Corp chairman and CEO Rupert. He is currently non-executive chairman of BSkyB, and News Corp said it expects him to remain as chairman of the UK-based company.
On Tuesday News Corp announced that it approached the board of BSkyB on 10 June about an offer to acquire the 60.9% that it does not already own. Their offer currently stands at 700p a share, which represents a premium of approximately 22% to BSkyB's share price at the close of business on 9 June, but the two parties have yet to agree a mutually agreeable price.
News Corp said it plans to finance its proposed offer by using a significant portion of the available cash on its balance sheet plus borrowed funds.
James Murdoch (pictured) was appointed as CEO of BSkyB in November 2003 but relinquished the role in December 2007 when he became executive chairman and CEO, Europe and Asia, at News Corp – a move widely regarded as lining him up to succeed his father.
Earlier this week News Corp announced two other investments: it acquired Skiff, an e-reading platform designed to deliver premium journalism to tablets, smartphones, e- readers and netbooks, from fellow family-controlled media company Hearst Corp; while it made an investment in Journalism Online, a venture dedicated to enabling publishers to collect revenue from their online readers. The financial terms of both agreements were not disclosed.
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