5 Oct 2012

Super fund joins anti-Murdoch campaign

3:01 pm on 5 October 2012

A large Australian super fund has joined other News Corp shareholders in a campaign to remove Rupert Murdoch as chairman ahead of this year's annual general meeting in two weeks.

A resolution to that effect has already been filed in the United States.

Now First Super, which manages around $A1.7 billion worth of funds, has announced it will also vote against the re-election of Mr Murdoch and four other directors, including James and Lachlan Murdoch.

First Super says other Australian industry super funds are likely to do the same.

Hermes, a British fund controlling $US39 billion in assets, backs the call to break the Murdoch family's hold on the business.

Director Hans Christoph Hirt says the problems with News Corp go well beyond the phone hacking scandal in Britain and a recent announcement of two new directors on the board is a start, but it is not enough.

Glass Lewis, a shareholder advisory group, also backs the resolution. But ithe ABC reports that it remains to be seen how many institutional shareholders will join these ranks. Given the voting rights of the Murdochs, the resolution is unlikely to succeed

The annual meeting of News Corp will be held on 16 October. The ABC reports last year's meeting ended with the majority of independent shareholders voting against the re-election of James and Lachlan Murdoch.