Three top BSkyB shareholders to vote against Murdoch

LONDON Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:33am EST

News Corp executive James Murdoch speaks to parliamentarians in London November 10, 2011.   REUTERS/Parbul TV via Reuters TV

News Corp executive James Murdoch speaks to parliamentarians in London November 10, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Parbul TV via Reuters TV

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LONDON (Reuters) - Three top shareholders in BSkyB will vote against James Murdoch remaining as chairman of the company at its annual general meeting on Tuesday, according to newspaper reports.

The Sunday Telegraph said Legal and General (L&G) will vote against Murdoch and the Sunday Times said Kames Capital has urged Murdoch to quit, while the Telegraph said in its Monday edition that U.S. fund manager Franklin Templeton would also oppose his re-election.

Another investor, the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has recommended its members vote against Murdoch's re-election.

Officials with Kames Capital, L&G and Franklin Templeton were not immediately available for comment.

The Sunday Telegraph said while L&G raised no ethical issues about the way Murdoch operated, its concerns related to his ability to retain independence following News Corp's failed bid for the British broadcaster.

The Sunday Times also said Kames Capital will vote against his re-election because it wants an independent chairman.

Templeton has a 3.2 percent stake in BSkyB, while L&G has 2.9 percent and Kames Capital has 1.6 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

LAPFF, which owns around 1 percent in BSkyB, said in a statement on its web site it had conducted extensive research into the phone hacking scandal at News Corp and had also engaged with BSkyB, leading it to believe that the company would now benefit from an independent chairman.

Earlier this month, the company's independent directors unanimously backed James Murdoch as chairman in a letter addressing shareholders' concerns about his suitability following the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World.

(Reporting by Adveith Nair and Michelle Martin; Editing by David Holmes and Matt Driskill)

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