Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Rupert Murdoch not squatting as securely on top of the News Corp dung heap?

The number of News Corp shareholders who do not unconditionally ‘love’ Rupert Murdoch appears to be growing if the 14 November 2014 statement to the United States Securities And Exchange Commission is any indication.

An estimated 31.30% of all eligible voters (or around 7 million more voters than last year) didn’t want Rupert Murdoch on the board of the company he inherited from his father, while 31.17% and 33.05% respectively didn’t want his sons Lachlan and James as directors either.

An estimated 46.05% of all eligible voters supported the dismantling of the dual class capital structure which reportedly gives Murdoch interests 39% of the company votes although his family owns about 15% of the equity.

* Broker Non Votes are: shares are held in a brokerage account, your broker is obligated to vote your shares as instructed by you. If you don’t give voting instructions to your broker, your broker’s ability to vote your shares depends on whether the item is “routine” or “non-routine.” The New York Stock Exchange decides whether an item is “routine” or “non-routine.”
Under the New York Stock Exchange rules, brokers may vote on “routine” items in their discretion on behalf of any customers who do not furnish voting instructions within 10 days of the annual meeting. With respect to “non-routine” items that come before the annual meeting for a vote, brokers would not be able to vote at all without first receiving voting instructions from their customers.
A broker “non-vote” occurs when the broker does not vote on a proposal because it is a non-routine item and the broker’s customer has not provided voting instructions. These broker “non-votes” would not be considered in the calculation of the majority of the votes cast and therefore would have no effect on the vote with respect to a non-routine item. [New York Stock Exchange]

** Dual Class Stock is: the issuing of various types of shares by a single company. A dual class stock structure can consist of stocks such as Class A and Class B shares, and where the different classes have distinct voting rights and dividend payments. Two share classes are typically issued: one share class is offered to the general public, and the other is offered to company founders, executives and family. The class offered to the general public has limited voting rights, while the class available to founders and executives has more voting power and often provides a majority control of the company.[Investopedia]

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