Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox made a $80bn (£46.5bn) takeover offer for Time Warner in June but was snubbed by the US media giant, it was revealed today. The news pushed up shares in Time Warner by as much as 17% to $83 when US markets opened this morning.
'21st Century Fox can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies. The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner,' Murdoch's company said in a statement.
The mega-merger would have created a media industry giant comprising of both Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers movie studios, and US television channels Fox, HBO, and TMT.
Time Warner said the deal was not in the company's best interests.
'There is significant risk and uncertainty as to the valuation of Twenty-First Century Fox’s non-voting stock and Twenty-First Century Fox’s ability to govern and manage a combination of the size and scale of Twenty-First Century Fox and Time Warner,' it confirmed in a statement today.
21st Century Fox had offered a total of $86.30 a share, a premium of roughly 22% to Time Warner’s closing price on Tuesday. The combined company would have had total revenue of $65bn.
Chase Carey, 21st Century Fox's president, met privately with Time Warner chief executive Jeff Bewkes last month, the New York Times first reported. 21st Century Fox offered to raise $24bn to help pay for the deal, and said the merger would save the company at least $1bn, primarily by cutting sales staff and back-office functions.
The company also offered to sell CNN to clear any regulatory issues.
After being rejected by Time Warner, it is unclear whether Murdoch will give up after his first attempt. People involved in the discussions said that Murdoch is determined to buy Time Warner and is unlikely to walk away, the NYT reported.