Tony Walford of Green Square, corporate finance advisors to the media and marketing sector, has suggested that ‘old media’ stalwart Time Warner is a likely candidate for takeover by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Back in July 2014 Rupert Murdoch came very close to buying the company, offering $85 a share. Now Walford reports that rumours of Murdoch’s interest in the media corporation have sparked up again in Wall Street, coinciding with the news that a large number of Time Warner stockholders would like to see a breakup or sale of the corporation.
Time Warner's stock finished 2015 at about 13 per cent below where it was when Murdoch made his offer, a result which could see stockholders forcing the board's hand to sell.
Backing his case, Walford cites the need for 21st Century Fox to increase its own streaming ability as a reason for his interest in the Time Warner empire, which owns cable division HBO. Buying Time Warner, or just HBO, would give Murdoch and Fox access to a well-regarded streaming service and a vast library of content.
Over 100 million people in the US are now accessing streaming subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon and HBO Now, while cable subscriptions are tanking.
Walford goes on to suggest that Murdoch could sell his 40 percent stake in Sky this year, a broadcaster “nearing saturation point” with an “old-fashioned business model”, which would enable him to free up valuable cash and “placate nervy regulators”.