LONDON--The Church of England has sold its small stake in News Corp. (NWS) due to concerns about the media giant's reluctance to improve its corporate governance following last year's phone hacking allegations.
The church first raised its corporate governance concerns with News Corp.'s board after the phone hacking allegations, which surfaced in July 2011, and encouraged the company to implement reform.
After a year of dialogue between News Corp. and the Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group, the church said it "was not satisfied that News Corporation had shown, or is likely in the immediate future to show, a commitment to implement necessary corporate governance reform."
In a statement on the church's website, Andrew Brown, secretary of the Church Commissioners, said the decision "was not one taken lightly and follows a year of continuous dialogue with the company, during which the EIAG put forward a number of recommendations around how corporate governance structures at News Corporation could be improved."
"However the EIAG does not feel that the company has brought about sufficient change and we have accepted its advice to disinvest," he added.
The total shareholding sold was worth 1.9 million pounds ($2.97 million).
News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire and The Wall Street Journal.
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