(NEWS.GNOM.ES) – News Corp set the distribution ratios for the spinoff of its publishing business and said the spinoff may start buying back stock right away.
The board of the publishing business, which will retain the News Corp name, authorized a $500 million stock repurchase program, the company said on Friday.
The new News Corp will have $2.6 billion in cash when the spinoff is completed at the end of June.
The stock repurchase program sheds some light on issues that analysts and investors have regarding the new News Corp’s use of cash ahead of a conference where Chairman Rupert Murdoch and CEO Robert Thomson will give more details about the company on May 28.
The board of the existing News Corp has now formally approved the split-up of the company. Current News Corp stakeholders who own four shares of Class A or Class B common stock will receive one share of new News Corp’s Class A or Class B common stock.
The new News Corp will be an independent publicly traded company.
The entertainment assets, including Fox broadcasting network, movie studio and lucrative equity stakes in pay-TV providers, will be known as 21st Century Fox.
21st Century Fox will retain no ownership interest in News Corp, the company said.
The publishing spinoff includes News Corp’s newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and The Times in London, a cable network and pay-TV provider in Australia, book publisher HarperCollins and fledgling education company, Amplify.
The company also named directors to the board of the new News Corp that includes current directors Lachlan and James Murdoch. New additions to the board include Thomson; Ana Paula Pessoa, a partner at Brunswick Group; John Elkann, head of EXOR S.p.A; and Masroor Siddiqui, head of investment firm Naya Management.
At 21st Century Fox, new board directors include Delphine Arnault, deputy general manager at Christian Dior Couture; Jacques Nasser of One Equity Partners; and Robert Silberman, executive chairman of Strayer Education.
Rupert Murdoch will serve as CEO of 21st Century Fox and chairman of both companies.
Shares of News Corp were trading down 0.5 percent at $32.70.
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)