News Corp., Telstra To Merge Foxtel, FoxSports Ahead Of Stock Market Listing
News Corp. and Telstra are "planning to list Foxtel on the stock market," according to Lucy Battersby of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. To prepare that move, they announced they will merge the subscription TV service they jointly own -- Foxtel -- with News' sports network, FoxSports. In an announcement released on Thursday, the companies revealed the new entity would be 65% owned by News Corp. with Telstra owning the remaining 35%. Currently, Telstra holds 80% of the equity in Foxtel but acts as a 50% owner. News Corp. will "effectively control the new company" with the right to appoint the chair, majority of the board and senior execs. Telstra will be "allowed to appoint some directors." No prices or payments were revealed. Foxtel had 2.7 million subscribers at the end of the financial year, down from 2.8 million the previous year. Key commercial terms of the proposed transaction have been "agreed on a non-binding basis" and the two companies will work to finalize the transaction, including obtaining regulatory approval, in the first half of '18 (SMH, 8/17).