Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, has withdrawn his bid for Time Warner. He had put together an $80 billion offer for the company, which Time Warner had rejected.
Here is the statement Murdoch released this afternoon:
” ‘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.
” ‘The Board today authorized a $6 billion share repurchase program. The repurchase of an additional $6 billion of Class A Common Stock is expected to be completed in the next 12 months.’
“Mr. Murdoch continued, ‘This significant return of capital underscores the Company’s ongoing commitment to disciplined capital allocation and returning value to shareholders in a meaningful way.’”