Murdoch Pulled Time Warner Bid Because of Debt

Tells Fox Business Won’t Revisit Deal ‘In a Hostile Way’

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch told his own Fox Business Network Thursday that he dropped his pursuit of Time Warner Inc., mainly over concerns the deal would require his 21st Century Fox to take on a massive debt load.

Fox revealed back in July that it had made an unsolicited $80 billion cash and debt offer for Time Warner a month earlier, an overture that was quickly rebuffed by the media conglomerate as too low. Fox officially dropped its pursuit of the company in August.

“I just felt with all the uncertainties in the world I didn't want to be carrying that degree of debt,” Murdoch told Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto.

According to the initial deal, Fox valued Time Warner at about $85 per share and the deal was expected to include about $30 billion in debt.

Murdoch reiterated to Cavuto that he would not revisit the Time Warner pursuit. “Certainly not in a hostile way,” Murdoch said.

In the meantime, Time Warner has been working hard to show investors that it can grow on its own. So far that has taken the form of cost cutting measures – in August its Turner Broadcasting Networks offered buyout packages to about 500 employees with 10 years or more at the company. On Thursday, Variety reported that its Warner Bros. Entertainment could cut as many as 1,000 workers worldwide – more than 10% of its 9,000-member workforce – to  shave expenses.