Sky board to back Murdoch as chairman

 
David Hellier
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JAMES Murdoch is expected to get the backing of the BSkyB board today for his continuing as chairman of the company despite the various inquiries taking place into the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World while he was the organisation’s most senior executive.

One or two independent directors on the satellite broadcaster’s board were last week uncertain about his role as Sky chairman but yesterday it appeared unlikely they would raise the issue at a board meeting scheduled to take place before tomorrow’s financial results.

Crucially, senior independent director Nick Ferguson has thrown his weight behind his chairman. His support is likely to quell any opposition, especially since the Sky board contains seven directors who are tied to the largest shareholder and Murdoch-aligned News Corporation.

Even if he survives today’s meeting, as expected, the problems aren’t over for James Murdoch.

Yesterday, Labour MP Paul Farrelly asked the Metropolitan Police for assurances that it will investigate not just the extent of phone-hacking and wrongdoing at the now defunct News of the World, but also the evident cover-up in the four years since.

Farrelly is keen to establish whether James Murdoch has participated in an alleged cover-up of the NoTW phone-hacking scandal.

MEET THE ADVISERS

RICHARD HOYLE

GREENHILL

Aegis was advised on the complicated sale process of its market research business Synovate by Greenhill & Co, which also acted as joint sponsor.

Richard Hoyle headed up the team, which negotiated Aegis’ unusual corporate structure to clinch the deal. The deal excluded the Aztec scan data services business which was under the Synovate umbrella.

Hoyle joined Greenhill in 2000, having previously worked in M&A at Credit Suisse First Boston and corporate finance at Barclays de Zoete Wedd. Also on the team for Greenhill was Pieter-Jan Bouten, a Belgian national who joined the bank in 2001.

JP Morgan also acted as joint sponsor and financial adviser, with Tim Wise, as vice chairman, co-head of corporate finance and head of the financial institutions group, and David Harvey-Evers working on the account.

Numis Securities is acting as the final joint corporate broker, with Mark Lander running the team.