In July, Rupert Murdoch, C.E.O. of 21st Century Fox and Buyer of Media Companies, tried to add Time Warner to his collection, but Time Warner never bit the $80 billion bait.
In response, Murdoch has withdrawn the offer, according to an announcement Tuesday. Here's Murdoch's statement (emphasis ours):
We viewed a combination with Time Warner as a unique opportunity to bring together two great companies, each with celebrated content and brands. Our proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale and our approach had always been friendly.
However, Time Warner management and its Board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling. Additionally, the reaction in our share price since our proposal was made undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders. These factors, coupled with our commitment to be both disciplined in our approach to the combination and focused on delivering value for the Fox shareholders, has led us to withdraw our offer.
21st Century Fox's future has never been brighter. The strength of our leading franchises, combined with the power of our emerging growth businesses and the leadership positions of our international enterprises put us on a path for even greater success.
This significant return of capital underscores the Company's ongoing commitment to disciplined capital allocation and returning value to shareholders in a meaningful way.
The announcement immediately echoed on the market: Fox's stock price, which had declined 11 percent since the Time Warner offer became public, jumped 8.6 percent to $34 by 4:12 p.m. ET. Time Warner, on the other hand, declined 10 percent to $76.64 following the news.
Time Warner had held steadfast to its refusal of Fox since Murdoch first made the proposal for what would have been the biggest media company merger in a decade, combining their robust live sports and movies and television studios portfolio.
According to Bloomberg, Fox has authorized a $6 billion repurchase of its shares.