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Rupert Murdoch Considering Upping Time Warner Offer

time warnerBloomberg News reports Rupert Murdoch is still angling to acquire Time Warner and is considering using proceeds from the sale of other assets to do so.

Fox may reach an agreement to sell its wholly-owned Sky Italia unit and its 57 percent stake in Sky Deutschland AG to British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc in the next two weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The assets could be valued at about 10 billion euros ($13.5 billion), people familiar with the matter said in May. Fox owns a 39 percent stake in BSkyB. The proceeds could give Murdoch additional cash for a Time Warner bid without having to borrow more. While Fox is willing to pay more than $75 billion after Time Warner’s board rejected its $85 per-share bid, no final decision has been made on whether to bump the offer, the people said. JPMorgan & Chase Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the fifth-biggest, will help Murdoch finance the bid.

And the Los Angeles Times reports if 21st Century Fox takes over Time Warner, CNN might sell for more than analysts think.

Two prominent media analysts — Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo and Kannan Venkateshwar of Barclays — have both put CNN’s value around $4.3 billion. That is an adjusted for taxes. Pre-tax value is in the $6-billion to $7-billion range. That is low, according to current and former senior executives at Time Warner Inc., who declined to speak publicly on the matter because of the 21st Century Fox situation. One former executive put CNN’s worth at between $8 billion to $12 billion. A company insider said $8 billion to $10 billion was in the ballpark.

People familiar with the original $80 billion proposal that was rejected said if 21st Century Fox took over Time Warner, it would sell CNN to prevent antitrust issues stemming from Fox News and CNN’s direct competitor relationship.

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