21st Century Fox Withdraws Time Warner Bid

In a rare instance of backing down, Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has withdrawn its offer to buy Time Warner.

"Time Warner management and its board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling,” says Murdoch, chairman/chief executive officer of Fox, in a release on Tuesday.

“Additionally, the reaction in our share price since our proposal was made undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders."

Ever since Fox made its unwelcome bid to buy Time Warner -- parent company of Warner Bros. studio, Turner Broadcasting, HBO and other entertainment assets --  for $80 billion, made public on July 16, Fox’s stock has steadily dropped, from just over $34 a share to a little over $31 on Monday, August 4.

After hours trading on Tuesday, August 5 of Fox stock shot up 8% to $33.79 on the news of the withdrawal. At the same time, Time Warner’s stock dropped nearly 10% on the news to $76.80. A proposed Fox price for Time Warner was valued at around $85.00 a share.

Time Warner issued a statement: “Time Warner’s board and management team are committed to enhancing long-term value... Time Warner is well positioned for success with our iconic assets, including the world’s leading premium television brand, the world’s strongest ad-supported cable network group, and the world’s largest film and television studio.”

Ever since the proposed deal was revealed, public media advocates have railed against the move, which would have consolidated more TV and movie studio content under one roof -- including 40% of the cable TV market and 30% of the movie studio releases, according to one estimate.

Tags: cable tv, m&a, tv
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