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Murdoch Withdraws Takeover Bid for Resistant Time Warner

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 5, 2014 at 5:01PM

You can't always get what you want. The same day that The New York Times explained how expensive 21st Century chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch's takeover of Time Warner would have to be--in the face of continued shareholder resistance--Murdoch sent out a statement that he is withdrawing the $80 billion offer.
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Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

You can't always get what you want. The same day that The New York Times explained how expensive 21st Century chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch's takeover of Time Warner would have to be--in the face of continued shareholder resistance--Murdoch sent out a statement that he is withdrawing the $80 billion offer. 

Time Warner’s board rejected Fox’s offer back in June. Murdoch recognized the cost of a continued takeover bid, and said he wanted the merger to be friendly. Many are heaving a sigh of relief. While consolidation is happening throughout big media, this combined behemoth would have meant the elimination of redundant jobs and far less competition in the marketplace. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who has streamlined his company over the years, was able to convince his board and key shareholders --some of whom are also investors in Murdoch's company--that Time Warner would become more valuable in the long run on its own. 

Murdoch stated:

“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.”

Fox’s stock price has taken a hit during the past few weeks. Murdoch added that his board has approved putting $6 billion into Fox's stock buyback program. 

This article is related to: Twentieth Century Fox, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Rupert Murdoch


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.