Media titan Rupert Murdoch is on the hunt.
Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox made an offer to acquire rival Time Warner in June, the company confirmed Wednesday.
“We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner,” which declined the offer, Fox said in a statement.
The unsolicited offer was reportedly worth $80 billion, according to the New York Times. In its formal offer letter, Fox offered $85 for each Time Warner, 60% in stock and 40% in cash.
Although Time Warner rejected the offer, the company’s shares are up roughly 16% in pre-market trading as news of the proposed deal spills out.
If Fox and Time Warner merged, it would create a media behemoth with a total revenue of $65 billion. Time Warner cable channels like TNT, TBS, and the premium HBO would join Fox’s FX, Fox News, and the Fox broadcasting network. The joint entity would become the largest film and TV studio business, with Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox operating under a single parent company. And Fox’s sports business would get access to Time Warner broadcast rights for professional and college basketball, Major League Baseball, and other sports.
A media merger of this size and scope could face some substantial antitrust scrutiny from regulators. To head off some of those concerns, Fox indicated it would sell off Time Warner-owned CNN, which competes directly with Fox News, according to people familiar with the matter.
Fox believes the combined company would save as much as $1.5 billion annually between reductions in human resources, sales, IT operations, and other overlap, according to an anonymous source cited in Bloomberg.
Developing… refresh for updates.