Murdochs Get $150 Million From 21st Century Fox on Disney Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.’s trio of Murdochs saw their compensation spike in the most recent fiscal year thanks to special equity grants tied to the completion of the Walt Disney Co. deal.

Chief Executive Officer James Murdoch and his brother Lachlan Murdoch, who’s executive chairman, each received pay valued at about $50 million for the year ended June 30, up from $20 million in the prior year, according to a regulatory filing Friday from the New York-based company. Their father Rupert Murdoch, who’s also executive chair, got $49 million, a 68 percent increase.

Murdochs Get $150 Million From 21st Century Fox on Disney Deal

The board in February granted them equity awards meant to keep them on the job while the the company undergoes “fundamental change” with the Disney deal. Half of the shares vest soon before the transaction is finished, and the remainder on the 15-month anniversary of the completion.

If the deal falls through, they’ll still get the shares by Dec. 13, 2019, at the earliest. Rupert Murdoch has a $17.7 billion fortune, of which about 80 percent consists of Fox stock, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The three won’t receive performance awards for next fiscal year. This year’s increases also partly result from a modification of awards granted several years ago.

Fox last year struck an agreement to sell its studio, cable channels including FX and National Geographic, and international assets to Disney in a deal that would turn the latter into “the Walmart of Hollywood,” an analyst said at the time. Fox shareholders approved the transaction in July.

The Murdochs will still rule over a broadcast network, a cable sports channel, a business news channel and Fox News. The new entity, New Fox, will be run by Lachlan Murdoch, 47, who’ll also split the chairman role with his father. James Murdoch, 45, is expected to move on after the deal is completed, pursuing interests in areas such as technology investments.

The family separately controls News Corp., which aside from British newspaper holdings also owns the Wall Street Journal and book publisher HarperCollins.

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