News Corp. Agrees to Lease Building Next to London’s ShardNeil Callanan
News Corp., the media company controlled by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, plans to move all its London businesses into offices built together with the Shard skyscraper on the south bank of the River Thames.
The publisher’s News U.K., Dow Jones and HarperCollins units will move to the Place in the summer of 2014, the New York-based company said in a statement today. News Corp. will lease the entire 17-story building, spokeswoman Ashley Huston said by e-mail.
Murdoch, bowing to investor pressure, last month split his publishing business from the entertainment operations, now called 21st Century Fox. The publishing group includes the Wall Street Journal, the London-based Times and Sun newspapers and Australian businesses including REA Group, an online real estate listings service.
“Our new London location in the vibrant borough of Southwark will allow us to realize one core objective as the new News -- to work more closely and creatively, and leverage our collective resources,” News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson said in the statement.
The Place, across the road from the Shard, has about 40,000 square meters (430,000 square feet) of space and will be completed next year. Both are part of a development by Sellar Property Group Ltd. and Qatar’s central bank called London Bridge Quarter. News Corp. didn’t disclose the terms of the lease.
News U.K. will move to the building from its offices at Thomas More Square in east London, while Dow Jones will relocate from its premises in the City of London financial district and Holborn neighborhood, according to the statement. HarperCollins will use the building as its London headquarters and will also have offices in Glasgow and Yorkshire.
Berkeley Group Holdings Plc, a Cobham, U.K.-based homebuilder, bought the former U.K. headquarters of what was then News Corp.’s News International unit for 150 million pounds last year. Murdoch had moved his newspapers there in 1986, using the transition to break the power of labor unions, which resisted new printing technology.
The 72-story Shard, which opened about a year ago, is the tallest building in western Europe.
News Corp. competes with units of Bloomberg LP, owner of Bloomberg News, in selling financial news and information.