NewsCorp Shareholders OK Move to USA

26 October 2004

On December 7, 1787, Delaware, became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. Today, thanks to its permissive business climate, more corporations are headquartered there than in any other US state.

Now there is one more. News Corporation, the Murdoch family business.

On Monday, NewsCorp shareholders voted overwhelmingly - over 90% of proxy votes - to approve the move from Adelaide, Australia, to reincorporate in Delaware.

The clan Murdoch's victory was not easily won. A cabal of institutional shareholders threatened to pitch its collective vote against the move unless there were substantial corporate governance concessions.

And given that the family were not permitted under Australian corporate law to vote their 30% stake, they bowed to the inevitable and conceded almost all the stockholders' demands.

NewsCorp has argued that the HQ change will make it more attractive to US investors and therefore easier to raise capital. Following the move stateside, there is the added attraction that NewsCorp stock will be listed in the S&P 500 Index - a powerful status symbol among denizens of the financial deeps.

Shares of the (now) officially Americanized media giant are scheduled to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange as of November 12.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff