News Corp.'s publishing spinoff, set to become a separate publicly held business in June, will start out with $2.6 billion in cash after receiving a $1.82 billion infusion from the parent company, giving rise to speculation the new company might look to expand its asset base.
The publishing business, which includes the Wall Street Journal in the U.S. and the Sun newspaper in the U.K., will have $18.6 billion in total assets, New York-based News Corp. said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.'s founder and chief executive officer, is breaking off the division from the company's entertainment operations, which will be called the Fox Group Inc. News Corp. agreed to the spinoff last year, bowing to pressure from shareholders who wanted the company to focus on its more valuable Fox TV and film businesses.
Shares of News Corp. rose less than 1% to $29.95 yesterday in New York. The stock has increased 17% this year.
Bloomberg News and Ad Age Staff