There goes an $80bn bear hug. Full statement from the 21st Century Fox chairman and chief executive:
We viewed a combination with Time Warner as a unique opportunity to bring together two great companies, each with celebrated content and brands. Our proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale and our approach had always been friendly. However, Time Warner management and its Board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling. Additionally, the reaction in our share price since our proposal was made undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders. These factors, coupled with our commitment to be both disciplined in our approach to the combination and focused on delivering value for the Fox shareholders, has led us to withdraw our offer. Read more
Step one, inherit.
Keith Rupert Murdoch, second of four children, was born in Melbourne, Australia on March 11, 1931. In 1953, after graduating from Worcester college, Oxford, he assumed control of News Ltd — left to him by his father. Adelaide News was the main asset, and he took control of the Sunday Times in Perth, developing the sensationalist style now seen in many Murdoch papers.
Step two, start hunting with ruthless and patience persistence.
The following is an updated version of a timeline the FT published back in 2007, and we’ll also put a helpful list of News Corp’s biggest deals at the bottom. Read more
Statement here, and it is more than boilerplate.
The Board is confident that continuing to execute its strategic plan will create significantly more value for the Company and its stockholders and is superior to any proposal that Twenty-First Century Fox is in a position to offer.
Superior to a 25 per cent premium? Also note the reference to the Murdoch factor — control of the group by the closely-held voting shares of Fox (our emphasis): Read more
21st Century Fox can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies. The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner.
Statement here. It may be worth revisiting the implacable tactics used by Rupert Murdoch in the pursuit of his last big trophy, as described by that prize: Read more
Warner would fit the scope of Murdoch’s ambition. It operates one of the most consistently profitable movie and TV studios in Hollywood, owns a vast film library worth more than $500 million, and has one of the largest record companies in the U.S. A battle for Warner would show off Murdoch’s defiantly competitive ways. His instincts are brute and he hardly ever bolts from a row. In late January, for instance, he had reporters at the New York Post searching for dirt about Steve Ross of Warner.
July 16 2014, NYT: Read more
If Google or 21st Century Fox is interested in buying Time Warner, it’s news to Jeff Bewkes.
“I know nothing about it,” the media conglomerate’s chairman and CEO told Variety at the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Wednesday when queried about reports that the two companies were eying Time Warner… Read more
An $80bn scoop on Dealbook…
Fox first approached Time Warner in early June, these people said. Chase Carey, the president of Fox and a longtime top lieutenant to Mr. Murdoch, met privately with Time Warner’s chief executive, Jeff Bewkes, these people said. Later that month, Fox delivered a formal takeover proposal worth $85 in stock and cash for each Time Warner share. Read more
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Viacom’s Paramount Pictures studio is seeking to merge its home entertainment division with a rival and is in advanced talks with Sony Pictures and News Corp’s Fox studio, signalling a possible wave of consolidation in Hollywood. The negotiations follow an industry-wide slump in DVD sales and growing pressure on studios to cut costs. Paramount is understood to have initiated the merger discussions with the two companies.
Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp, is leaving after failing to agree a new contract with Rupert Murdoch, who will step in and take direct control of the Fox studio and broadcast businesses that his right-hand man has run for 12 years. James Murdoch, Mr Murdoch’s younger son, remains the favourite to eventually succeed the 77-year-old media mogul, but rathe than step in at Fox, he has chosen to stay in charge of its European and Asian operations