News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) said Monday that it has reached a settlement agreement with shareholders in lawsuits related to the acquisition of Shine studios and the phone hacking scandal. News Corp said that its board members will receive $139 million in insurance policies held by board members. The agreement is yet to be approved by the Delaware Court.
The settlement will resolve a number of complaints filed against the company’s board of directors. Plaintiffs, which included New Orleans Employees’ Retirement System and the Amalgamated Bank, sued News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) in March 2011, after the company acquired Shine Group Ltd which was owned by the daughter of News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) chairman Rupert Murdoch. The plaintiffs later complained about the phone hacking scandal that forced the company to close its British newspaper News of the World. In July 2011, they consolidated these lawsuits into one legal action.
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News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) said in the settlement Memorandum of Understanding that it is open to adopt the improved corporate governance procedures. In fact, the enhanced procedures would be adopted by both the companies that emerge from its planned spinoff in June 2013. News Corp plans to splits its publishing business, which will become a new public listed entity. The newly formed business will receive $18.6 billion of assets and $2.6 billion in cash. The publishing business will own the Wall Street Journal and the British newspaper the Sun.
Today’s agreement between the company and shareholders is not an admission of wrongdoing by the global media giant. News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) said in a statement that the settlement is a consequence of the important steps taken by the company to strengthen its compliance structure and corporate governance. Amalgamated Bank CEO Edward Grebow, said that his company is proud of the historic settlement. He said Amalgamated Bank has a history of improving corporate governance and encouraging corporate reforms.
News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) shares were up 0.13 percent to $31.25 at 11:22 AM EDT.