May 1st, 2012
04:14 PM GMT
Editor's note: Louise Cooper has twenty years experience in finance and business, starting her career at Goldman Sachs as a stock broker. She is currently at BGC Partners as a markets analyst.
London (CNN) – Eighty five pages of damning criticism of the Murdochs from the parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking at their newspaper empire were released Tuesday.
The organization's wish to "buy silence,” a “wilful ignorance” and “cover-up”: With such language the report found Rupert Murdoch "not a fit" person to lead a major international company. Murdoch, of course, part owns BSkyB.
This is not yet the view of the British media regulator Ofcom which said it was still "assessing evidence" on the matter. But in the meantime, where does this leave News Corporation's 39% ownership of BSkyB?
It was only a year ago that News Corp. wanted to buy the whole of BSkyB outright. That's a short turnaround from bidder to seller.
However, in the last year, Rupert Murdoch has proved his agility in making bold and brave and surprising business decisions - for example his abrupt closure of the News of the World. And if Ofcom rule Rupert Murdoch is not a "fit and proper" person, as per its test, then he may have no choice but to sell his £4.5 billion stake.
For investors in the shares, there are many attractions - it is a cash generative business which pays good dividends and has a strong market position.
The two largest institutional shareholders have been adding to their already large holdings in BSkyB recently and a large research house on Monday moved its recommendation on the stock to a buy.
BSkyB is regarded as a safe investment in these troubled times. Britons seem keen to continue to pay for their sport and films, even in a recession. There are some clouds though on the horizon however, with the auction for the Premier League coming up in the next month or two.
There are always fears BSkyB will pay too much for this important contract. And there is competition on the film side from new players such as Netflix that promises movies on demand. For the time being, investors are willing to back team BSkyB, if not Team Murdoch.
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