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21st Century Fox Taps Investor Jeffrey Ubben to Join Board

21st Century Fox has tapped ValueAct Capital founder Jeffrey W. Ubben to join its board, bringing the number of directors from 12 to 13.

Ubben made headlines last month by buying a minority interest in the talent agency UTA. A vote on his nomination to the Fox board will take place this year.

In a joint statement, Fox Executive Chairmen Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch praised Ubben’s “perspective” as “a global investor.”

“The rapidly changing media landscape presents significant opportunities, and I believe 21st Century Fox is uniquely positioned to leverage its global presence and market leadership to create further long-term value for all stockholders,” Ubben said.

Ubben is known as an activist investor, but one who usually operates in tandem with a company’s leadership instead of engaging in proxy fights or scorched earth public relations battles. His company has backed the likes of Canadian pharmaceutical company Valeant, food maker Sara Lee and news organization Reuters.

In conjunction with joining the board, public filings reveal that Ubben has agreed not to engage in any hostile takeover activity and will not purchase more than 7% of the company. ValueAct currently holds a 5.9% stake.

Ubben’s appointment comes as Fox has undertaken a major leadership shift, one that has seen Rupert Murdoch’s sons James and Lachlan assume key roles atop the media conglomerate. He has met frequently with the family over the past year, according to an individual with knowledge, and has come away impressed by how the company is being run.

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