Murdoch downplays renewed BSkyB bid

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News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has downplayed the prospect of the media group making a renewed bid for the satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Murdoch, quoted in a report in The Times, said News Corp’s thinking has “moved on.” News Corp’s News International subsidiary publishes The Times and holds a 39.1% shareholding in BSkyB.

News Corp withdrew an offer for BSkyB in July last year, following a backlash against News Corp prompted by allegations of phone hacking at the News of The World newspaper.

Murdoch said the company had a substantial amount of cash to invest, but added that if the UK does not want the company’s money there are good places in which to invest it. He added that he is a lot more bullish about the US than the UK.

On June 28 News Corp announced plans to split its publishing business and its film and television operations into two separately listed companies.

Murdoch dismissed talk that he was retrenching from the newspaper business.

The newspaper quoted News International’s chief executive Tom Mockridge, who informed employees that the split means that there is even less chance of the newspaper business being sold.

News Corporation’s market capitalisation is currently US$53.47bn and BSkyB has a market capitalisation of £11.38bn (US$17.8bn).

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