New News Corporation announces head of IR

Mar 11, 2013
<p>Morgan Stanley media specialist to lead IR program as News Corp prepares to split into two firms</p>

Sell-sider Michael Florin will take the helm of the News Corp investor relations team from April 1, as the international publishing giant paves the way for a split into two separate, independent public companies.

The firm is dividing its publishing assets from its film and TV interests, with the new News Corp set to start life as a debt-free publishing company with $2.6 bn in cash after the spin-off, according to a regulatory filing. It will also have assets worth $18.6 bn including the Wall Street Journal, the Times and the Sun newspapers, and book publisher HarperCollins, adds the filing.

Florin will report to the new firm’s CFO, Bedi Ajay Singh. ‘Michael brings to the new News Corp an ideal combination of deep media knowledge along with unique experience working on both the buy side and sell side of the business,’ says Singh in a press release, noting that Florin’s skill in understanding and communicating about the industry has ‘earned him respect in the investment community.’

Robert Thomson, CEO of the new News Corp adds: ‘We have a very good story to tell investors and, in Michael, we have an able, articulate individual to be the no-nonsense narrator of our fortunes.’

The Columbia Business School graduate, who has 20 years’ investment and media experience, will have his work cut out for him in turning around the company’s reputation following the widely publicized phone-hacking scandal that led to closure of the News of the World. The plan to split the firm was first announced in June last year following shareholder concerns over damage to the company’s reputation caused by the scandal.

Florin served as Morgan Stanley’s telecoms-media sector specialist since 2008. Before that he worked as a buy-side analyst for US pension fund TIAA-CREF and prior to that at US Trust.

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