21st Century Fox to delist in Oz

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is delisting shares from the Australia Stock Exchange after regulators okayed the move.

The company will stop trading on the ASX on May 1, with all Class A and Class B stock then trading on the NASDAQ in the US.

Rupert MurdochMurdoch (left) split his businesses in two last year, with News Corp. becoming the publishing arm (though it still operates Australian pay TV platform Foxtel) and 21st Century Fox is profitable entertainment wing, including the likes of Fox Entertainment Group and Fox International Channels.

21st Century Fox said there would be no material changes following the delisting, though it will streamline and simplify trading operations in the US.

The company said move would reduce reporting costs as it would now only do so in one territory.

In related news, News Corp. has been linked with a deal to buy Australian commercial broadcaster Network Ten.

The development came in a signed affidavit from Ten CEO Hamish McLennan recalling a conversation with John Stephens, the executive at the centre of the bitter spat between Ten and rival Seven Network.

McLennan’s affidavit swore he had spoken to Stephens after the latter signed a contract with Ten. During this conversation, Stephens told McLennan Seven bosses Bruce McWilliam, Tim Worner, David Leckie and Kerry Stokes had said of his move: “’Oh no, why did you do that? Don’t you realise that Ten is going to be bought by News Corporation and there will be a change of ownership. Are you insane?’”

Stephens was set to join Ten from Seven but reneged on the agreement to remain where he was.

Ten wants Stephens stopped from working at Seven for two years – the length of his Ten contract. Stephens claims he signed the contract while under the influence of heavy painkiller medication.