Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, recently made one of the most ambitious proposals of his career, attempting to buyout fellow media giant Time Warner for an eye-watering 76 billion dollars. Unfortunately for him, the offer was rejected, but if it had indeed been carried out it would have led to a partnership between two of the World’s biggest media conglomerates.
Following the news of Time Warner’s rejection Murdoch said, “Time Warner management and its board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling… 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.”
If the buyout had been successful, 21st Century Fox would have also gained control over Warner Brothers, TNT, TBS and the critically-acclaimed network HBO. According to the latest reports, the one asset owned by Time Warner that Fox reportedly did not intend on keeping was global news network CNN. This was most likely due to the fact that CNN is one of Fox News’ largest rivals in the news broadcasting sector.
According to The New York Times, selling CNN would result in a bidding battle between networks such as CBS and ABC, who have both expressed interest in the news service in the past. Analyst Morgan Stanley believes that CNN could fetch up to 10 billion dollars.
Time Warner defended their decision to reject the deal saying, “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 21st Century Fox is in a position to offer.”
Had it gone through, the acquisition would have been the biggest media deal of the last decade.