LONDON (Reuters) - News Corp’s (NWSA.O) third-largest investor has urged Rupert Murdoch to sell all his newspapers and double the size of a share buy-back plan, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
“I’d like for them to sell all the newspaper businesses,” Kevin Holt, a senior fund manager at Invesco, told the newspaper. “It’s a digital world now and the competitive advantage that newspapers had has been competed away.”
Invesco holds 1.8 percent of the company’s shares and is its biggest institutional shareholder.
Murdoch deflected attempts by angry investors to remove him as chairman of his News Corp (NWSA.O) empire at the company’s annual meeting on Friday.
The 80-year-old media baron survived what was effectively a no-confidence vote and also managed to get his sons James and Lachlan re-elected as directors.
Invesco declined to say how it cast its votes on the re-election of a board heavily criticized for its response to the phone-hacking scandal at News Corp’s now defunct British newspaper, the News of the World.
“Was I disappointed with the UK situation? Yes, for sure,” Holt told the Sunday Telegraph. “But we don’t own the stock because of the UK newspaper print business. We own it despite the UK newspapers.”
News Corp also owns the Fox broadcast network, a stable of cable channels, the 20th Century Fox film studio and a host of other assets across the globe including a 39 percent stake in British media group BSkyB BSY.L.
News Corp could not be reached for comment.
Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Mike Nesbit