Investors back Murdoch's US move

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The Independent Online

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp clinched victory in its drive to relocate its corporate headquarters to the US from Australia when an overwhelming majority of shareholders backed the move in a meeting in Adelaide.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp clinched victory in its drive to relocate its corporate headquarters to the US from Australia when an overwhelming majority of shareholders backed the move in a meeting in Adelaide.

The endorsement of 96 per cent of shareholders yesterday came only after Mr Murdoch agreed to a series of improvements to corporate governance regulations in his empire, to make up for the fact that US law affords investors far fewer rights over companies.

Mr Murdoch said the transfer would help boost liquidity in News Corp's shares and attract more investment in the country which is now its core market.

He told shareholders: "Our expected inclusion in the major US indices should mean more demand for our shares and we will get access to the world's largest pool of capital."

Mr Murdoch has transformed his business from a small newspaper company in Adelaide into a global media empire with $51bn (£28bn) in assets, which include The Times and The Sun in the UK, as well as the 20th Century Fox film studio, Asia's Star TV and the publisher HarperCollins.

Mr Murdoch said: "The reality today is that 75 per cent of profit and revenue come from the US, most of our business is now there, and most of our future growth comes from there."

The media baron, 73, who has US citizenship and has lived there since the 1970s, said the company was sticking with its earnings forecasts, helping to spur a rally in News Corp's shares.

He was upbeat about the prospects for DirecTV, the US satellite arm which is attempting to challenge the dominance of cable providers in the market.

News Corp and DirecTV are the subject of a $1bn lawsuit brought by the Cisneros , the Venezuelan media group, over allegations they stitched up a deal to sell DirecTV's Latin American assets at much less than they are worth.

Mr Murdoch predicted the re-election of George Bush as the president of the US next week would boost the economy. He also denied his TV news channel, Fox, had been biased towards Mr Bush.

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