Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., has filed for divorce from Wendi Deng Murdoch, his wife of less than 10 years. The divorce filing comes just a week before News Corp. starts the procedure to divide in two. One company will contain a publishing division and Australian TV assets. Another company will hold global TV and movie businesses. The divorce doesn’t change the succession plan for the media company. Murdoch, 82, founded the media company he controls through a family trust.
Murdoch filed a one-page document showing that he was opening a divorce case in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. He refers to a breakdown in the relationship in the divorce filing.
The couple are parents to two daughters. Murdoch also has four other children from two previous marriages, including three who have involved roles within the company. All four children, including a child from his first marriage, have equal votes in electing trustees for the company. Murdoch controls close to 40 percent of the voting shares of News Corp. via a separate family trust. In the event of Murdoch’s death, his four eldest children will maintain the most say in who controls News Corp. Murdoch’s younger daughters have no voting stake in the company, but they are beneficiaries of non-voting shares that are held in a trust. Wendi Deng Murdoch, also has non-voting shares.
Murdoch’s divorce has several issues that differentiate it from a typical Minnesota Divorce. Most families in Minnesota are not coming in to court to argue about dividing up a large company worth billions of dollars. To complicate issues, Murdoch has also been married three times, and has children from each previous marriage. However, Murdoch will have to deal with the usual issues of divorce, such as child custody, child support, non-marital property and the marital estate.
Whether you are dealing with a situation involving a Minnesota divorce, property division, custody or child support, hiring an attorney who has the experience and courtroom skills required to represent your interests in divorce court can be vital.
Star Tribune, “Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from Wendi Deng; succession plans unchanged” Ryan Nakashima, Jun. 06, 2013