Nearly three weeks after reports surfaced that 21st Century Fox had made a spurned offer to purchase fellow media giant Time Warner, Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch confirms that the deal is off. The rejected price had been reported as $80 billion.
Instead of buying Time Warner, 21st Century Fox says it will buy back shares of its own stock, embarking on a plan to repurchase $6 billion worth of the shares over the next 12 months.
As we reported back in July, “the attempted takeover sent shares of Time Warner more than 15 percent higher in premarket trading Wednesday, to $71. The Fox bid would have priced the shares at $85.”
Since the news of the takeover attempt came out, Fox’s share price has fallen by around 11 percent, Bloomberg News reports.
Commenting on the deal today, Murdoch released a statement that read in part:
“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.”
He said, “21st Century Fox’s future has never been brighter.”