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1969: Murdoch wins Fleet Street foothold
The Australian media magnate, Rupert Murdoch, has beaten off a rival bid to win control of the News of the World newspaper group.

Mr Murdoch defeated a 34 million offer from Robert Maxwell's Pergamon Press to become the new managing director of his first Fleet Street newspaper.

He said: "Anyone interested in journalism and mass newspapers realises that Fleet Street is the heart of it all. To be in Fleet Street is to be at the heart."

The 37-year-old Australian already owns a national Australian newspaper, as well as several regional daily and weekly papers and a number of television stations.

The bitter battle for control of the News of the World began last October when Pergamon offered an initial 28 million. It had the support of Professor Derek Jackson's family, who owned around 25% of the shares.

The shareholders have judged my record in Australia and they're hoping I can do the same in this country
Rupert Murdoch
But the deal was fiercely opposed by the Carr family, who owned around 30% of the shares and ran the company. They joined forces with Mr Murdoch's News Ltd group and rejected Pergamon's bid as "completely unacceptable".

Unaware of what Mr Murdoch was plotting behind the scenes, Mr Maxwell increased his offer by an extra 8m, bringing the bid to 50 shillings (2.50) per voting share, a price regarded in the City as being very generous.

But when the offer was put to the vote, shareholders chose to support the Carr family and Mr Murdoch.

Afterwards, Mr Maxwell accused News Ltd of using "the laws of the jungle" to win the deal, he said: "Pergamon Press made a fair and bona fide offer in October which has been frustrated and defeated after three months of (cynical) manoeuvring."

Mr Murdoch denied any dirty dealing, saying: "The shareholders have judged my record in Australia, I presume, and they're hoping I can do the same in this country, with this company."

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Smiling Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch: "To be in Fleet Street is to be at the heart"

Murdoch defeats Maxwell in tabloid takeover


In Context

Mr Murdoch's business empire, News Corporation, has continued to expand across the globe.

In the UK, he owns News International, which includes The Sun, as well as The Times and Sunday Times. He moved the papers to a new high-tech plant at Wapping in the mid-eighties. It led to a violent confrontation with the print unions, which he ultimately won.

He became a US citizen in 1985 so he could invest in American television stations. He also owns the Harper Collins publishing empire with business on both sides of the Atlantic.

He owns BSkyB and in Asia, the Star network.

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