A big, aggressive US fund manager surprised the market this morning by revealing it had picked up 11.9% of the voting B-class shares in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The question now is whether, as they say in sharemarket parlance, News Corp is in play.
Southeastern Asset Management, through a couple of its major funds (called Longleaf), revealed it had spent more than $400 million at current prices, amassing a stake of 23.767 million B-class News Corp shares. The purchases have been made since June 30, when Southeastern didn’t own any News Corp shares (the company split from 21st Century Fox on June 28). Southeastern is controlled by investor Otis “Mason” Hawkins.