“This initiative was one of opportunity, not necessity,” Carey says
Don’t expect to hear about Twenty-First Century Fox attempting to purchase Time Warner anymore. On a Wednesday fourth quarter earnings call, Fox COO Chase Carey said of the offer: “First, let me be clear: we are done.”
“Second, this initiative was one of opportunity, not necessity,” he continued. “Third, we have no plans to pursue any other third-party company.”
On Tuesday, the day before earnings for both media companies were announced, Twenty-First Century Fox Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch withdrew his $80 billion offer to purchase Time Warner. “Our proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale and our approach had always been friendly,” he said. “However, Time Warner management and its Board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling.”
Time Warner’s board initially rejected Murdoch’s June offer of roughly $85 per share — split around 40 percent cash and 60 percent stock — on the grounds that no offer that Fox can generate will match the value that Time Warner can provide its shareholders.
The Fox offer was about 25 percent higher than the current stock value, which drove prices up on the market.
In a swift response to the takeover attempt, Time Warner’s board removed a special meeting provision, which would have otherwise given shareholders an opportunity to approve the sale to Murdoch’s company.
Earlier on Wednesday, Jeff Bewkes’ company reported strong second quarter earnings, including a three percent raise in revenue to $6.8 billion and a 17 percent jump in adjusted operating income to $1.6 billion.
Time Warner earned 98 cents per share, far surpassing analysts’ estimates of 84 cents.
Click here for a full summary of Twenty-First Century Fox’s Q4 and fiscal year earnings.