Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said the company carefully evaluated the $80 billion bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox before concluding that "we just didn't think it made sense" given Time Warner's potential growth trajectory.
"We do think there was a fair amount of risk in taking on that size of combination," said Bewkes, speaking at Goldman Sachs' Communacopia conference Wednesday in New York. He said that Time Warner, on its own, will be be able to deliver "very attractive" earnings growth "as we have done for the last six years."
Fox in June made an unsolicited overture for Time Warner, whose board rejected the offer, and then 21st Century Fox last month said it was withdrawing the bid.
The combination of Fox and Time Warner would have created a media powerhouse, with annual revenue of about $65 billion. The proposed deal would have brought together assets including movie studios 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. and a portfolio of top cable networks, including Fox News, FX, HBO, TNT and TBS, as well as Fox Broadcasting and its sports networks, as well as each company's international businesses.
Asked about whether Time Warner would ever launch HBO direct-to-consumer, in a way that would compete directly with Netflix, Bewkes reiterated that the media company constantly reviews the opportunity about doing that.
"We don't want to do anything that is not done at a very high quality," he said.
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