Rupert Murdoch said 21st Century Fox walked away from its bid for Time Warner because it was no longer attractive to shareholders and COO Chase Carey said the company is done trying to buy Time Warner or any other content company.
Speaking on Fox’s earnings call with analysts, Murdoch said that “we made a formal proposal to acquire Time Warner because we viewed it as a unique opportunity with clear strategic benefits."
But he said Time Warner’s management and board refused to engage to explore what he called a “compelling” offer. At the same time, Fox’s stock fell to a level that “undervalued our stock."
That resulted “in our conclusion that this transaction was no longer attractive to Fox shareholders,” he said. “As you know yesterday we walked away. This was our resolute decision, which is why we formally withdrew our acquisition offer. 21st Century Fox is an amazing company and our future has never been brighter.”
He added that “while we remain opportunistic and nimble, we are a strategically complete company and have a sense of where we are going.”
Carey was blunter. “Let me be clear. We are done.” He said that because of the Fox stock price drop and Time Warner’s defensive posture, pursuing the deal would “lead to a transaction where too much of the value went to Time Warner shareholders."
He said the deal had been one of opportunity, not necessity, and that the company had no plan to pursue any other third party content company.