News Corp shareholders ‘troubled’ by Murdochs’ Leveson testimony | Media | guardian.co.uk
“The big question is what does this mean for BSkyB,” he said. “Sky is one of their best assets.”
News Corp owns about 40% of the broadcaster and the phone-hacking scandal at the News of The World derailed Rupert Murdoch’s plans for a full takeover.
Broadcast watchdog Ofcom is currently conducting an investigation into whether News Corp leadership meets it criteria of “fit and proper” owners of a UK broadcaster. If the company fails the test it may have to sell all or part of its shareholding.
“Ofcom is going to be looking very carefully at what happened this week,” said Pryce-Jones. “It has to increase the risk for shareholders.”
Nonetheless News Corp shares rose during the three days of testimony, rising 0.7% to $19.76 on Thursday.
A spokesman for Pirc, a research and governance specialist which advises pension funds, was particularly concerned about the on-going investigation by Ofcom.
“It demonstrates that shareholders have to take a view on the governance and ethics of News Corp and its board. It is having a knock on effect on BSkyB, a major FTSE 100 company”.
James Murdoch was chairman of Sky but stood down earlier this month. He is still a non-executive director.