James Murdoch Weighs Tapping Billionaire Families for India Bets
James Murdoch is considering raising funds from ultra-rich families around the globe, a move that would give him more firepower to make acquisitions and further establish his investment firm.
Murdoch’s Lupa Systems is looking for about $150 million each from fewer than half-a-dozen family offices for investments in India, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. It intends to use an external fundraiser to help with the drive, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the plans are private and still tentative.
A spokesperson for Murdoch declined to comment.
James, 48, set up Lupa Systems in 2019. Based in New York and Mumbai, it already counts Indian startups Doubtnut and Harappa Education among its investments. The firm is also backing a U.S. blank-check company -- Seven Islands Inc. -- that will focus on India as it hunts for targets across south and southeast Asia. Murdoch and Uday Shankar, the former president of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, are co-chairmen of the SPAC.
Nitin Kukreja, a former Morgan Stanley banker, is managing director of Lupa Systems’s operations in India.
The firm also owns a $160 million stake in MCH Group, the organizer of the Art Basel shows. In 2019, it invested in Norwegian drone technology company UBIQ Aerospace, New York-based comic book publishing startup Artists Writers & Artisans and the owner of the Tribeca Film Festival.
James Murdoch was once in pole position to lead his family’s sprawling media operations. He was chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox before Walt Disney Co. acquired most of its assets in 2019, leaving him and Rupert Murdoch’s five other children in line to receive about $2 billion each from the deal.
James cut ties with his family’s media businesses -- News Corp. and Fox Corp. -- last year after clashing over its editorial direction. His brother Lachlan, 49, now helps to run both companies.
Rupert Murdoch, 90, has a net worth of $8.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“At great news organizations, the mission really should be to introduce fact to disperse doubt -- not to sow doubt, to obscure fact, if you will,” James told the New York Times in October.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.