The Murdoch family, which between them control 30% of News Corporation voting stock, are facing a pandemic of shareholder mutiny following the challenge thrown down by Australian institutional investors to the plan to reincorporate from Adelaide to Delaware USA [WAMN 01-Oct-04].
On Tuesday it was revealed that three more large fund managers – Hermes and the Universities Superannuation Scheme in the UK, plus Netherlands giant ABP – have nailed their flags to the same mast as the Aussie mutineers.
Growled an ABP spokesman: "If NewsCorp will not change its position we'll certainly consider voting against." The Dutch company – one of the largest pension fund managers in the world – declared itself dissatisfied with Delaware's laid-back standards of scrutiny for related-party transactions.
The migration to Delaware requires 75% of shareholder votes in favour – but opposition to the Delaware move is nearing critical mass and the clan Murdoch is barred under Australian company law from voting its thirty percent. The issue will be decided at NewsCorp's annual meeting next month.
Meantime, although nervous sweating syndrome is not known to be a family affliction, it is rumoured that Rupert and sons have already bought-in bulk supplies of Arrid.
Data sourced from mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff