Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp., last week sold more than $40 million of voting shares in the media company as the company's stock reached record highs.
Murdoch sold 1,396,571 million of his 317,290,709 Class B shares on Wednesday for $40.1 million, according to a regulatory filing on Friday, Reuters reported. A News Corp. spokesman declined to provide a reason for Murdoch's sale, the Los Angeles Times said.
News Corp., which owns Fox Network, The Wall Street Journal, and 20th Century Fox movie studios, is controlled by Murdoch's family through its ownership of about 40 percent of Class B voting shares. The LA Times noted that Wednesday's sale represented less than 1 percent of the Murdoch family's holdings and did not significantly reduce the family's controlling interest.
In November, Murdoch sold about $10 million of Class A nonvoting shares.
The LA Times noted that both stock classes closed Friday at all-time highs on the Nasdaq Stock Market. News Corp.'s actively traded Class A shares have gained almost 50 percent in the past 12 months. Friday, the Class A stock closed up 1.4 percent at $28.90 on Nasdaq. The Class B shares rose 1.3 percent to $29.34. The LA Times said Murdoch's sale Wednesday was at $28.72 a share.
News Corp. plans to break into two companies this year, one for publishing operations and one for television and film interests.
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