Fox will be actively pursuing M&A opportunities now that it won’t be merging with News Corp.
Outside shareholders of both of the Murdoch family holdings had protested after patriarch Rupert last fall asked the respective boards to explore a combination. In January, he took that off the table, opening a door to other possibilities.
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch stressed a few times today on the company’s quarterly conference call with Wall Streeters that other deal or deals are likely because “I do think scale is important.” Fox reported strong numbers for its fiscal second quarter and a solid balance sheet. Its defined focus on sports and news helped boost ad revenue in a soft market and has been keeping the stock a favorite with investors.
“We will be looking at M&A to deploy our capital. We don’t have anything on the table today, but I think we are in a strong position to capture opportunities when they present themselves. And, obviously, there are other companies in our sector that are not in as great a position that we will cast our eyes over,” Murdoch said. “We do expect that M&A will be a more important part of our toolkit.”
He the scale and the depth of the Fox business is important “and we will be investing equally in both.”
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