Wednesday, July 16th, it was confirmed that Time Warner rejected Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox‘s $80 billion bid last month. Murdoch wanted to add Time Warner to his large collection of media companies.
Murdoch has been on a mission over the last half century to own the world’s largest media companies. The main publication, television programs movies and magazines in the world have large parts owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. and 21st Century Fox. If the merger of 21st Century Fox and Time Warner were successful, the product would be an entertainment giant with $65 billion revenue.
Early in June, Murdoch began talks with Time Warner, planning for a late June takeover. The bid was a 25 percent premium on the Stock price of Time Warner, 40 percent in cash and 60 percent stock. However, when the takeover became public the pre-market trading boomed. The proposal also agreed that the company would sell CNN, which is a direct competitor to Fox News.
After careful consideration, Time Warner's board sent a lengthy rejection letter, stating that a large issue with the bid was the type of stock offered. Murdoch had offered nonvoting shares of 21st Century Fox. Negotiations ended with the rejections; however Fox is likely to come back with a more appealing offer. Seventy percent of Time Warner shareholders also hold shares in 21st Century Fox. Citigroup is currently advising Time Warner, and Fox has hired Goldman Sachs to counsel on the deal.
Reports from Bloomberg News on Monday, July 21st, said that Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is considering increasing its offer with proceeds from the sale of its Italian and German Sky TV assets. Murdoch will gain an additional $13.5 billion from the Sky sale; he may use this to persuade Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.
The deal’s success would mean the merge of the top-two cable providers in the United State; the new company control of many top-rated cable networks, including TNT, Fox News, TBS and Cartoon Network. However, Murdoch’s main concern is not his audience in America. Fox would gain ins to China and other emerging markets, nearly doubling revenues in Latin America and Asia/Pacific, with the TWC deal, according to Reuters.
Mario Gabelli, the CEO of GAMCO Investors, told Reuters, "He sees 3 billion new consumers coming into the market and a rising middle class in China and India, and mobile devices and strong demand for content. He's going to be able to create Netflixes of his own."
The overall opinion from media and business insiders is that the deal is likely to go through, but as with everything, there are no guarantees.