Church of England Sells News Corp. Stake After Phone Hacking

The Church of England sold its stake in News Corp. (NWSA) saying the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch hadn’t shown a commitment to corporate governance reforms after a phone-hacking scandal.

The church sold all its News Corp. shares, worth 1.9 million pounds ($2.4 million), it said in a statement on its website today. The move came after a year of talks between the two sides regarding church-recommended governance reforms.

Following talks, the church’s ethics advisory group “does not feel that the company has brought about sufficient change and we have accepted its advice to disinvest,” according to the statement.

About 60 people have been arrested in probes into bribery and phone and computer hacking that began with New Corp.’s U.K. publishing business, News International.

Church of England investment bodies own assets worth more than 8 billion pounds, which helps pay for a network of 12,000 parishes, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Schweizer in London at kschweizer1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net.

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