Time Warner Stock Surges on News of Murdoch Bid

Rupert Murdoch (AP Photo)

(USA Today) – 21st Century Fox, a film and TV empire controlled by Rupert Murdoch, offered to buy Time Warner last month for about $80 billion, a deal that would combine two of the largest players in the cable network business and possibly unleash a wave of consolidation among content producers.

Time Warner said in a statement Wednesday that 21st Century offered about $84 a share, a combination of 1.531 non-voting common stock shares and $32.42 in cash. But in a video, Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said the board determined that the unsolicited bid “was not in the best interests of Time Warner.” 21st Century Fox also confirmed its bid.

Shares of Time Warner soared 17.1% to end the day at $83.13 after an initial report by The New York Times that Murdoch had approached Bewkes.

If the deal had been struck, the combination would have given birth to the world’s largest media company that would control — if regulators approve it, hardly a safe assumption — two huge Hollywood movie studios, local TV stations nationwide, the most watched cable news network in Fox News along with its closest rival CNN, as well as several popular cable channels in HBO, TNT and TBS.

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