Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
Ahead of News Corp.‘s annual general meeting in October, Rupert Murdoch tweeted: “Any shareholders with complaints should take profits and sell!” Australia’s First Super is taking Murdoch up on the suggestion, citing concerns over the board’s lack of independence. The industry fund, which controls nearly $1.78B, joined U.S. institutions in an unsuccessful bid against the re-election of James and Lachlan Murdoch in October and called for the roles of chairman and chief executive to be split. While it’s a small investor in News Corp., the prominent fund’s decision today could be seen as a symbolic blow. “Open, transparent, representative governance is not only overdue but essential for improved risk management within the company,” First Super co-chairman Michael O’Connor said. “The interests of minority shareholders have too often been compromised. But these issues are apparently of no concern to Rupert Murdoch, so our board decided to take his advice and sell down our shareholding.” News Corp.’s shares have gained more than 40% in the past year, but O’Connor told Reuters the fund was taking “a long-term view.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.