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News Corp. Extends Deadline for FEG Shareholder Stock Exchange

Feb 8, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. on Monday extended for the second time the deadline for an exchange offer that would return full ownership of Fox Entertainment Group to News Corp., citing as reason for the extension a hearing next month to address some shareholders’ objections to the offer.

The Delaware Court of Chancery is scheduled to hold a hearing March 1 requested by several shareholders unhappy with News Corp.’s offer. In light of that hearing, News Corp. pushed to March 4 the deadline by which FEG shareholders can exchange their shares in FEG for stakes in News Corp. The original deadline was Feb. 4 but it was later changed to Feb. 22.

Around 17 shareholder suits have been filed to block News Corp. from moving forward with the $6 billion offer, which would pay FEG shareholders $33.54 for each share–an offer some stockholders consider too low.

News Corp. owns a controlling 82 percent of FEG, which went public in 1998 as a way for News Corp. to tap U.S. capital markets. However, at the end of last year News Corp. changed its residency to the United States from Australia, obviating the need for FEG to remain public.

For their part, News Corp. officials have maintained that the offer presently on the table is fair and final. In a statement issued Monday, the company said of the upcoming hearing that it “believes that these claims are without merit and intends to vigorously contest such allegations.”