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News Corp (NWSA): Pzena Investment Management Ups Exposure to 6.97% of Class A Stock

Richard S. Pzena‘s Pzena Investment Management has recently increased its stake in News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), as a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed. Pzena upped its exposure to the company to 26.50 million class A shares, which represent 6.97% of the company’s outstanding class A common stock. Previously, in its latest 13F filing the fund reported ownership of 24.40 million class A shares and around 6.10 million class B shares of News Corp.

Richard Pzena - Pzena Investment Management

Founded in 1996, Pzena Investment Management is focused on value investing and as of the end of September manages an equity portfolio worth around $18.30 billion and has around  $27 billion in assets under management. The equity portfolio is diversified and the majority of positions are not bigger than 3% of the total equity portfolio value. At the end of September, the largest equity holding of Pzena was represented by Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), of which the fund held around 20.84 million shares. Meanwhile, the stock of the computer hardware company jumped by 25% over the first nine months of the last year. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) are two other top picks revealed in Pzena’s latest 13F filing, which gained around 7% and 9% during the January-September 2014 period.

News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) has been included in Pzena’s equity portfolio since the last quarter of 2013, while previously, the fund has been holding only shares of Class B common stock. Throughout the last year, the investor has been upping its stake that initially contained some 15.99 million shares of the company’s class A stock. Meanwhile, since the end of 2013, the stock lost around 13%. During the last year, News Corp announced and completed the acquisition of provider of online real estate services Move Inc. for $950 million and publisher Harlequin for some $365 million.

A couple of months ago, News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) was involved in a small conflict with some other investors on the matter of the control of the company. Shareholders have opposed the voting structure of the company, which, according to them, allows chairman Rupert Murdoch and his family to control almost 40% of the voting rights of News Corp, despite the family only holding around 14% of the company. Therefore, revolted investors proposed some changes to the voting structure during the last meeting of shareholders, but the proposal was not approved during voting.