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Mergers & Acquisitions

Murdoch's 21st Century Fox confirms bid for Time Warner

Twenty-First Century Fox, owned by Australia-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has officially confirmed it made a bid to buy US entertainment group Time Warner. The multi-billion-dollar offer was, however, rejected.

Twenty-First Century Fox's bid was worth about $80 billion (59.1 billion euros), or $85 per share in cash and stock, media reports said Wednesday.

In a statement, Twenty-First Century Fox didn't mention the volume of the deal, but confirmed it had made the buyout offer in June.

"The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner," Twenty-First Century Fox said in the statement.

The statement came after the New York Times reported on Wednesday that Australia-born media czar Rupert Murdoch was unlikely to walk away despite the rejection.

The newspaper also reported that Fox, which owns movie studio 20th Century Fox and cable news channel Fox News, had offered to sell Time Warner's CNN in an effort to clear any regulatory hurdles. Citing people familiar with the matter, the New York Times said Time Warner's board had discussed the proposal at length and had sent a terse letter earlier this month rejecting the offer, saying that it was better off remaining independent. The deal reportedly fell through because the stock portion of Fox's offer consisted of non-voting shares.

According to New York Times information, Fox had estimated that a combined company would save $1 billion in costs and possibly more, primarily by cutting sales staff and back-office functions. The combined company's revenue would be over $60 billion.

uhe/dr (dpa, Reuters, New York Times)

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