News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch issued a statement insisting his company had no plans to spin off its UK newspaper arm following claims made over the weekend.
The Telegraph said options being considered included ‘creating a trust to manage the UK newspaper assets, going into a joint venture with a media partner or a direct sale to private equity”.
They reported that while the plans were ‘in their infancy”, News Corp was ‘understood to be serious about ridding itself of assets it sees as fatally contaminated by the phone-hacking scandal”.
The FT, meanwhile, quoted two people ‘familiar with the situation’saying options under discussion included ‘putting the News International titles into a trust or selling them to one or more wealthy individuals”.
The report added that ‘no decisions had been made and a sale or spin-off may not happen”.
Murdoch said in a statement: ‘News Corporation remains firmly committed to our publishing businesses, including News International, and any suggestion to the contrary is wholly inaccurate. Publishing is a core component of our future.”
A News International spokeswoman also denied the reports, adding “There are absolutely no plans to put News International into a separate trust.”