25 April 2013

News Corp agrees $139m shareholder settlement

New York-headquartered media group News Corp has reached a $139m settlement with shareholders over complaints filed against the company's board of directors.

By James Barnes

News Corp HQ

The cases relates to the company's UK phone-hacking scandal and the purchase of a UK TV production firm.
The money will be covered by the insurance policies of the directors, who are defendants in the suit.

Production company

The lawsuit was filed in March 2011 by trustees of Amalgamated Bank of New York and the Central Labourers Pension Fund against News Corp's directors for overpaying when the company bought UK TV production company Shine Group from News Corp's chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth.
The lawsuit was expanded in July 2011 to accuse the board of providing ‘no effective review or oversight’ as the phone-hacking scandal was uncovered, reports the BBC.

Shareholder value

Noel Beasley, chairman of Amalgamated Bank, stated: ‘We are pleased that the company has committed to additional enhancements to its governance that we hope will continue to protect and enhance shareholder value going forward.’
Co-lead counsel for plaintiffs, Mark Lebovitch of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Jay Eisenhofer of Grant & Eisenhofer, jointly stated, ‘We commend the significant compliance improvements that News Corp’s Board has implemented, and agreed to implement, and applaud News Corp for working with plaintiffs to structure and implement additional valuable governance and compliance reforms. We also are very pleased that, as a result of the settlement, all of the governance and compliance improvements set forth in the settlement agreement will remain in place at the Company until at least the end of 2016.’
News Corp said in a statement that it was ‘please to have resolved the matter.’

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