Keith Rupert Murdoch is an Australian-American media master. Brought up from a dad, who was a; reporter, editor and senior executive of the Herald and Weekly times, he was well familiar with the media from a young age. With a £12 billion net worth, he is a very significant and influential figure in the media, perhaps through the help from his father. Murdoch also founded: News Corporation, Sky UK and 21st Century Fox.
Currently, he is undergoing a deal with his own telecommunications/news channel, Fox News; to buy out Sky news, in the UK,Germany and Italy. Furthermore, Murdoch will have control of: The Times, The Sun, Talksport and the Sunday Times. Before the deal can be sealed; Murdoch has to raise his £10.75 per share offer, value isn't sky at £18 billion. On the other hand, this will cause an outrage for many shareholders with Sky.
Sky's own directors consist of; deputy chairman ‘Martin Gilbert’, also the chief executive of sky shareholder Aberdeen Asset manager. Sky's directors have recommended that the shareholders should accept the offer from Fox. There was a 40% increase in share price; as soon as the announcement was made. The main beneficiaries of the deal, who will be syphoning a whooping £40 million, will be: finance chief, Andrew Griffith and Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch.
Richard Marwood, a senior fund manager at Royal London asset management, controlling £62 million of Sky shares, released a statement declaring directors need to provide for financial support for shareholders. “We would urge the independent committee of Sky directors, who recommended that shareholders accept the offer, to share more information on the independent financial advice that they based their argument on”. He later went on to say; “Such disclosure would help shareholders assess the fairness of the offer and give greater confidence in the independence of the committee in the bid”. These can be easily seen as wise words, shareholders remaining as part of the company, may want to think twice about the value of their shares. An association of 71 funds including; Standard life, Jupiter asset manager and Local authority pension fund forum, account to 0.7% of Sky; said they want “robust” safeguards to protect “future probity”.
There are 10 working days remaining to overview any possible public interest concerns, especially from the media, the person in charge of making this happen is Karen Bradley. With the help of the regulator Ofcom, undergoing a 40 day investigation to determine whether or not, Murdoch will have to much power and control in the media. However, this factor is completely dependant on whether Bradley will seek the help of the Ofcom or not.
Nevertheless, the big question for everyone, is if Murdoch should have this much responsibility, as past events have reflected him to be questionable character. During Brexit, it is thought that he used his company ‘The Sun’, as a means of sending a biased message to leave the EU, influencing political views on overall scale. Perhaps, the deal may be delayed, until article 50 is triggered, meaning the leave from the EU would trigger a fall in the pound, causing a cheaper price for him, ultimately affecting shareholders, share values, but pocketing the directors... Also, do we really want an individual, having a vast amount of power in the media, who was involved in the phone hacking scandal.
On Thursday 15th December the deal was confirmed by Sky, now we are only left to sit back and review any changes occuring in the future.