Murdoch Family Trust: The real battle over succession has yet to begin

Murdoch Family Trust: The real battle over succession has yet to begin

Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has been appointed as the sole chairman of News Corp and Fox Corp. This announcement resolves any immediate concerns about leadership within the sprawling media empire that includes some of the world’s most influential brands.

However, the executive transition does not address a potential power struggle that could arise upon Rupert Murdoch’s death, as outlined in the Murdoch Family Trust. This trust, based in Reno, Nevada, outlines a scenario in which a takeover could occur. Rupert Murdoch currently controls News Corp and Fox Corp through a 40% stake in voting shares of each company, held within the trust. He also holds a small number of shares outside of the trust.

Upon Rupert’s passing, his voting shares in News Corp and Fox Corp will be transferred to his four adult children: Prudence, Elisabeth, Lachlan, and James. This creates a situation where three of the children could outvote the fourth, potentially leading to a battle over the future of the companies, despite Lachlan Murdoch’s role as chairman of Fox Corp and sole chair of News Corp.

The Murdoch Family Trust holds eight votes, with four controlled by Rupert Murdoch and the remaining four controlled by his four children from his previous marriages. Murdoch’s youngest daughters, Chloe and Grace, do not have voting rights within the trust.

Upon succession, the four older children will equally inherit Rupert Murdoch’s voting shares in the trust, according to Alice Enders, Head of Research at Enders Analysis. The trust also includes assets such as the Cruden family farm near Melbourne and Murdoch’s art collection.

Both Fox Corp and News Corp operate with a dual-share system, consisting of non-voting Class A shares and voting Class B shares. The shares owned by Murdoch’s children through the trust include a combination of both classes.

While the immediate succession scenario is not a pressing concern, according to Alice Enders, it may become more relevant in the future. Helen Coster, Media Correspondent at RushHourDaily, reports from New York. Editing by Stephen Coates.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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