LONDON, July 25 Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century
Fox said on Friday it would renew a share buyback
programme using the proceeds from its partial exit from European
pay-TV, regardless of any acquisitions the media group
The company made the pledge in a statement announcing the
sale of Fox's Italian and German pay-TV units to BSkyB
for $9 billion in cash and assets.
"This transaction significantly enhances liquidity on our
balance sheet to support our key operating principles including
the consistent return of capital to shareholders," said the
company in a statement.
"For fiscal 2015 we will continue our share buyback program
and will communicate the details of a renewed share buyback
authorization upon the announcement of fiscal 2014 earnings
results on Wednesday, August 6, 2014."
In August 2013, Fox's board authorized a $4 billion share
buyback over the next 12 months.
Murdoch, chairman and CEO, added: "Our renewed authorization
for our share buyback program will be executed regardless of any
potential acquisition or investment activity by the Company."
Fox recently made an unsolicited $80 billion bid for media
conglomerate Time Warner, which was rejected by its
management as too low.
The 83 year-old mogul is expected to use the proceeds from
his partial exit from Europe to fuel its pursuit of Time Warner,
with some analysts expecting him to return with a higher bid.
Fox owns 100 percent of Sky Italia, 57 percent of Sky
Deutschland and 39 percent of BSkyB.
(Reporting by Leila Abboud and Kate Holton; Editing by David