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News Corp shares rally on split plans

Jun 27 2012 07:54 AFP

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Sydney - Australian stock in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp rallied 4.3% on Wednesday after the company said it was considering splitting its publishing assets from its bigger entertainment arm.

Soon after the open, its shares were up 88 Australian cents at Aus$21.68, having jumped more than 2% late on Tuesday on a Wall Street Journal report of the plans.

The New York-based company confirmed the report overnight, and said the move would "separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies".

News Corp shares on Wall Street soared 8.3% to close at US$21.96.

The carve-out would likely lead to one unit including 20th Century Fox movie studios, the Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel, competing more directly against Disney, Time Warner and Comcast, which controls NBC Universal.

The company's publishing assets include The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Times of London and The Australian newspaper, as well as the HarperCollins book publishing house.

Dow Jones Newswires, which is owned by News Corp., said a final decision had yet to be made but the board was expected to consider the proposal Wednesday.

Assuming the board approves the deal, a public announcement was likely on Thursday, it said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

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