Murdoch Cedes to Shareholders Over 'Poison Pill'

07 April 2006

According to a group of dissident News Corporation stockholders, they have reached agreement with the Murdoch family business over its so-called 'poison pill' defense against hostile takeover.

The thirteen investors - who between them manage $300 billion in pension funds in Australia, Britain, the United States and the Netherlands - have accordingly dropped their lawsuit due to be heard April 26 at in the Delaware Chancery Court.

The dissidents argue that the poison pill' provision, widely believed to be directed at Liberty Media tycoon John C Malone, holder of an 18% stake in NewsCorp, should not have been extended for a further two years without shareholders' approval.

It is understood that NewsCorp has now agreed to put the 'poison pill' clause to a vote of shareholders at its annual meeting in October - and, claims the plaintiffs' lawyer Stuart Grant, annually thereafter for the next twenty years.

The settlement must first be heard and approved by Chancery Court Judge William Chandler, to whom the settlement will be presented on Monday.

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff