UPDATED with Rupert Murdoch memo: With fewer than 24 hours remaining before the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney closes, the remaining stand-alone entity Fox Corp. begins trading today and has announced new members of its board of directors.
The company will maintain the ticker symbols FOXA and FOX for its Class A and Class B common shares, respectively, and will trade on the NASDAQ. Holders of Fox Corp. have received 620.5 million shares from 21st Century Fox as part of the $71.3 billion Disney transaction. A portion of each share of 21st Century Fox common stock held at the time of the distribution was exchanged for one-third of one share of common stock of the same class, and holders will receive cash in lieu of any fractional shares.
Staying behind at Fox Corp. are assets including the Fox broadcast network, Fox News, Fox Sports and local TV stations. The film and TV studio, as well as FX Networks, National Geographic and 30% of Hulu, are heading to Disney.
Along with formalizing the company’s new phase as a stand-alone entity, Fox also said it has added several new members to its board of directors, including former House Speaker Paul Ryan. Other new directors include Anne Dias, Chase Carey and Roland A. Hernandez. Previously announced board members include Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch (who will run Fox Corp.) and Jacques Nasser. Carey, CEO of the Formula 1 racing circuit, is a longtime Murdoch associate who held senior-level executive posts at News Corp. and 21st Century Fox.
“We are thrilled to welcome our new colleagues to the Fox board,” Lachlan Murdoch said in a press release. “We look forward to working with and being guided by them as we begin a new chapter, steadfastly committed to providing the best in news, sports and entertainment programming.”
On Monday, Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch sent what might be his final 21st Century Fox memo to staff:
Our transaction with Disney is anticipated to close this Wednesday, March 20th, with the spin-off of our businesses comprising FOX to take place tomorrow, when FOX becomes an independent public company.
Our unique company was built over decades through the energy and ingenuity of many dedicated colleagues and brilliant creative partners. It has defied conventional wisdom, succeeded where others have not, and delivered enduring stories and the best experiences for consumers.
For decades, we have been a catalyst for change, driven by an aversion to complacency, a sense of curiosity about the world and an abiding embrace of bold ideas. These traits will continue to guide all of us as we embark on our next chapters, whether at FOX, Disney or somewhere new.
When this transaction is complete, I anticipate tremendous opportunity for our businesses and colleagues alike. 21CF’s film and TV studios will align with Disney to maximize their impact with compelling storytelling, global reach and scale, and an unsurpassed range of consumer relationships, extensive brands and breakthrough over-the-top media capabilities. FOX will be a force in the U.S. market with powerful brands, leading sports, news and entertainment programming, and resources to invest in higher growth initiatives.
I want to reiterate my deep appreciation for everything you have done to help make 21CF one of the world’s most dynamic media companies. I also want to thank our entire leadership team, for their enormous contributions to this company.
Together, over decades, we have charted new territories, served customers across continents and shaped a bright future for our businesses. This work will continue to open new opportunities, enabling both our businesses and people to flourish in years to come.
I am grateful for all you’ve done and wish you continued success.