Fox abandons Time Warner takeover bid

Rupert Murdoch21st Century Fox has abruptly terminated its attempt to acquire for Time Warner Inc, citing both Time Warner's unwillingness to ''engage with us'' as also a sharp drop in Fox's stock price which made a deal ''unattractive to Fox shareholders.''

Fox's stock had fallen about 11 per cent since news broke last month that it had made a takeover offer for Time Warner valued at $85 a share, or about $80 billion, in a cash stock mix.

Though Time Warner rejected the offer (See: Time Warner spurns Murdoch's $80-bn offer), Fox suggested it would pursue its bid, including possibly raising the offer to between $90 and $95 a share, or as much as $89 billion.

However, even a price in that range was not likely to come up to Time Warner's expectations, which made clear in a statement last month that it believed its own plans for growth would deliver more value to shareholders than any proposal Fox was in a position to make.

According to people close to Time Warner, if it were going to sell, it would demand a cash offer of well over $100 a share, a price that would stretch Fox's balance sheet, MarketWatch reported.

Acknowledging in a news release yesterday, that Fox had withdrawn the offer, Time Warner said it was ''well positioned for success with our iconic assets.''

Yesterdays' announcement comes three weeks after Time Warner rejected 21st Century Fox's $80 billion offer to take over its movie studio, the popular movie channel HBO, Turner cable entertainment ventures and CNN, a worldwide news channel.

Murdoch already controls movie studio 21st Century Fox, and additionally the widely watched Fox television channels and prominent business newspaper The Wall Street Journal.

The merger would have seen two of the largest media companies come together.

Voice of America reported Murdoch's decision to walk away from his bid represented one of the biggest defeats in a decades-long career that started with his assuming control of his family's small newspaper company. He went on to build one of the world's most powerful and influential media empires through his various takeover ventures.

Media watchdog groups concerned over the merger of the two media conglomerates took note of the withdrawal with a degree of satisfaction. In a statement, Media Matters said "no one should hold that much influence."