New Fox Begins Trading, Names New Directors Including Paul Ryan -- 3rd Update

Date : 20/03/2019 @ 09:18
Source : Dow Jones News
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New Fox Begins Trading, Names New Directors Including Paul Ryan -- 3rd Update

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By Allison Prang and Benjamin Mullin 

Fox Corp., which began trading as a stand-alone company Tuesday following a spinoff from 21st Century Fox, named Paul Ryan, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to its board.

The new Fox, which holds TV assets including Fox News, the Fox broadcast network and television stations, and Fox Sports, also appointed Anne Dias, Roland Hernandez and Chase Carey to its board.

Mr. Hernandez, chief executive of Hernandez Media Ventures, served as chief executive of Telemundo Group Inc. from 1995 to 2000. Ms. Dias founded media-focused investment fund Aragon Global Holdings. Mr. Carey, the chairman and CEO of Formula 1, held various top posts at 21st Century Fox, including vice chairman until this year.

The board also includes Jacques Nasser, who previously served as chairman of mining company BHP Billiton Limited, Rupert Murdoch, the company's co-chairman, and his son Lachlan Murdoch, the company's chairman and chief executive.

Mr. Ryan, the Republican Party nominee for vice president in 2012, left his role as House speaker this year.

Walt Disney Co. is acquiring the remaining 21st Century Fox entertainment assets for $71.3 billion, a deal expected to close Wednesday. Disney is purchasing production businesses such as the Twentieth Century Fox studio, U.S. cable networks including FX and National Geographic and international properties including Star India. It also will acquire Fox's stake in streaming-video service Hulu.

The acquisition of 21st Century Fox's assets and content libraries will help Disney compete with streaming giants like Netflix Inc. and emerging competitors such as Warner Media and Apple Inc. Disney is launching a streaming service, Disney+, this year, part of the company's broader strategy to offer films, scripted television shows and live sports directly to consumers.

With its major entertainment and international assets sold, Fox Corp. is planning to focus on sports and news specifically for the U.S. market. Rupert Murdoch and his family are significant shareholders in Fox Corp. and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp.

James Murdoch, Lachlan's younger brother, is not expected to have a role at the company and is starting an investment fund targeting digital and international media businesses, people familiar with the matter have said.

The assets that now make up Fox Corp. generated $10.2 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, up 2% from the previous year, according to a securities filing by the company. Net income for the Fox Corp. business in fiscal 2018 was up 59% to $2.2 billion, powered by a tax benefit. Without that gain, income fell 3%.

Affiliate fees, such as carriage payments from cable TV providers, have been a major revenue driver, and they grew 15% in fiscal 2018. In a separate filing, Fox said it expects the pace of affiliate fee growth to "meaningfully decelerate" in the last half of the fiscal year that ends June 30.

Some executives from 21st Century Fox are joining Disney, including 21st Century Fox President Peter Rice and top television executives Dana Walden and John Landgraf. On the film side, Emma Watts, the vice chairman of the Twentieth Century Fox studio, has been named vice chairman of the Twentieth Century Fox film label. Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula, the heads of Fox Searchlight Pictures, will continue in those roles.

Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com and Benjamin Mullin at Benjamin.Mullin@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 19, 2019 18:03 ET (22:03 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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