Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox makes $80bn bid for Time Warner

Cash and stock offer rejected and it is unclear if mogul will make a second attempt

Rupert Murdoch: his company’s  $80 billion bid for Time Warner’s equity would rank as the second largest all-time media and entertainment deal. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch: his company’s $80 billion bid for Time Warner’s equity would rank as the second largest all-time media and entertainment deal. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images

 

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has made a $80 billion takeover bid for Time Warner in the mogul’s biggest move yet to strengthen his power in a global media industry where content companies have become dwarfed by cable distributors and technology groups.

The cash and stock offer, which was made in June, was rejected by Time Warner and it remains unclear if Mr Murdoch (83) will launch a second bid. In a statement yesterday morning, Fox acknowledged that it had made an approach, but added that it was “not currently in any discussions with Time Warner”.

The offer included 1.531 non-voting shares of 21st Century Fox shares and $32.42 in cash for each Time Warner share.

The deal was first discussed between Chase Carey, the president of Fox, and Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner’s chief executive, in a private meeting in early June, people familiar with the matter said. Fox followed up with a formal takeover approach days later.

The offer comprised $80 billion for the equity of the company plus the assumption of about $12bn of net debt, according to people familiar with the matter. Sixty per cent of the offer would be paid in shares and the remainder in cash.

An $80 billion bid for Time Warner’s equity would rank as the second largest all-time media and entertainment deal, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

The only bigger bid was Time Warner’s own $181 billion takeover of AOL in 2000. – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014)