21st Century Fox Withdraws Time Warner Takeover Bid

Business Leaders Gather For B20 Summit In Sydney
Pool—Getty Images Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman News Corporation looks on during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEO's on July 17, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.

The merger, if allowed, would have been one of the largest of all time

Mass media titan 21st Century Fox has withdrawn its $80 billion offer to take over Time Warner, ending what would have been one of the largest media mergers of all time.

Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch said in a statement Tuesday that the Time Warner board “refused to engage” on the offer to purchase its assets, and as a result, Fox had withdrawn its bid.

“Our proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale and our approach had always been friendly,” said Murdoch in a statement. “However, Time Warner management and its Board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling.”

Murdoch’s media conglomerate made a bid to take over Time Warner nearly two months ago, reaching out to Time Warner chief executive Jeff Bewkes in early June. The deal would have put Murdoch at the head of a portfolio of major household media brands, including TNT, TBS, HBO, Warner Brothers, Fox News and others.

In his statement, Murdoch also said that the 10% drop in 21st Century Fox’s share price after news of its Time Warner bid has undervalued his company’s stock.

Time Warner said after the announcement that it is “well positioned for success” with its current television, cable and film studio assets.

In the minutes after news broke of Fox’s withdrawal, Time Warner’s share price dipped over 11% in after-hours trading. Time Warner is the former parent company of Time Inc.

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