According to unconfirmed newspaper reports, media magnate Rupert Murdoch is ready to negotiate with fellow mogul John Malone about buying back the 18% stake in News Corporation owned by the latter's investment vehicle, Liberty Media.

And quickly. The holding is a thorn in the side of NewsCorp's chairman/ceo, who is reportedly itching to snatch back Malone's strategically vital stake before the end of June.

There are many possible reasons underlying the 73-year old mogul's hunger for the buyback, not the least of which is to ensure the seamless succession to the NewsCorp throne of one or another of the Murdoch princelings - Lachlan and James.

Murdoch senior is quoted as telling investors and analysts: "We've got various ways to deal with [the succession], but we're not going to make up our mind until we resolve the Liberty position, which we would expect to do before we get back to you again in three months."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff