Breakingviews

Listen to Murdoch’s muzzled minorities

July 22, 2014

Most Fox believers are relegated to owning non-voting stock, the same second-tier paper on offer to Time Warner shareholders. While there’s broad investor overlap in the two companies, the record shows a clear distaste for the imperialistic ways of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Time Warner can justifiably hold out for more

July 18, 2014

Though Rupert Murdoch’s $80 bln bid includes a 20 pct premium, his quarry may have been on track to achieve the offer price on its own. Time Warner also should be able to get more credit from the market for its growth. That gives boss Jeff Bewkes some negotiating power with Fox.

Murdoch may be heading for Pyrrhic Time Warner win

July 17, 2014

The media mogul’s rebuffed $80 bln bid for his rival already looks a stretch. He’d need more than twice the $1 bln of expected synergies to cover that premium – and a ton of debt. History suggests the octogenarian won’t give up – and may destroy value by offering more.

Dual-share inequity to figure in Time Warner fight

July 16, 2014

If Rupert Murdoch wants to own the HBO-to-Looney Tunes conglomerate he needs to be willing to convert Fox into a one- share, one-vote company. The combo would be too big for a takeover anyway. The irony is that Fox’s super-votes are what give Murdoch the chutzpah to attempt a deal.

Tribune politics play into Murdoch’s hands

July 10, 2013

The idea of the conservative Koch brothers buying newspapers in pro-Obama LA and Chicago may have made Tribune’s owners wary of a sale. The chosen spinoff, however, could foreshadow a deal with newly separated News Corp, putting the tainted Murdoch in a rare white-knight role.

Liberty pushes envelope for post-crisis M&A debt

February 6, 2013

The U.S. media group is funding the cash element of its $23 bln Virgin offer by gearing up its target. Almost $8 bln of new debt will be issued with the deal. Overall leverage may still be below pre-crisis multiples. But it’s a big moment - and could beget more levered M&A.

Disney chief’s unlikely fairy godfather: Murdoch

November 21, 2012

With News Corp snapping up a piece of the Yankees TV network, Bob Iger’s battle with Rupert Murdoch is becoming more intense. But News Corp’s rich price for the deal implies a punchy valuation for Disney’s much-coveted ESPN. That could make the whole Magic Kingdom worth more.

Who will run Murdoch’s grand newspaper spinoff?

September 25, 2012

With a key UK regulatory judgment on BSkyB out of the way, News Corp can focus on cleaving its newspaper empire. Critically for investors, that means picking a CEO. Wall Street Journal boss Robert Thomson appears in pole position. His appointment would spark a chain reaction.

Murdoch’s reformation stops with governance

September 5, 2012

The media mogul has sensibly deployed capital as part of a big turnaround at News Corp since the phone-hacking scandal rocked his empire. But two new board nominees look like the old Murdoch at work. Investors shouldn’t so soon forget the havoc an unchecked emperor can wreak.

Murdoch deal is a non-core disposal – not a split

June 28, 2012

After Brangelina or bananas split, two more or less equal halves remain. To suggest that News Corp’s doing anything similar sounds more like wishful journalistic thinking than clear arithmetic. The Printco’s value amounts to no more than around 6 pct of News Corp’s market cap.