The global media giant said yesterday that it had received approval from its board of directors to delist, a move that is subject to the approval of shareholders.
Shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the delisting at a special meeting, anticipated to be held in March or April. If approved by shareholders and subsequently by the ASX, delisting will occur thereafter.
Fox to trade solely on NASDAQ
If the delisting is successful, Fox said that all of the company’s Class A and Class B common stock would be listed solely on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (NASDAQ), with no changes to the company’s operations, employees or business expected as a result of the delisting.
Following Fox’s separation from News Corp in June last year, Fox’s common stock began dual trading on the NASDAQ, with CHESS depositary interests continuing to trade on the ASX.
CHESS depositary interests, commonly known as CDIs, allow securities of foreign companies to be traded on the ASX and generally carry benefits similar to ordinary shares, such as the right to dividends and the ability to participate in rights offers.
“Today’s announcement is part of our ongoing agenda to simplify the operating and capital structure of our Company,” said Fox chief executive officer, Rupert Murdoch.
“Following the separation of our businesses in June last year, 21st Century Fox has only limited operations in Australia, and we believe that consolidating the trading of our stock in the world’s largest equity market would provide improved liquidity to the Company’s stockholders and greater efficiencies for the Company.”
If the delisting is successful, former ASX listed shareholders will be given the ability to continue holding common stock through the NASDAQ.
Fox said yesterday that it had arranged for ASX shareholders who become registered holders of common stock through NASDAQ to be able to use a direct registration system sales facility to sell their shares on NASDAQ and receive proceeds in Australian dollars.
Former ASX listed shareholders will also be able to sell or buy shares through a licenced US broker.