From Business Insider:
21st Century Fox has put Time Warner in play.
According to Andrew Ross Sorkin, 21st Century Fox offered to pay $85 per share to buy Time Warner. At that price, the deal would be valued at $80 billion.
Why is 21st Century Fox interested in buying Time Warner?
It is likely related to Comcast's buying Time Warner Cable, AT&T buying DirecTV, and Sprint reportedly looking at buying T-Mobile.
Those companies control distribution. As they consolidate, they gain more power over the content companies — 21st Century Fox, Time Warner — that rely on them for distribution.
Here's how the TV business works: Fox News, which is owned by 21st Century Fox, gets almost $1 per subscriber from Comcast and other cable companies. That $1 causes tension between the two companies. For Fox, it's the lifeblood of its operations. It gets ad revenue, too, but the ad business comes and goes; subscriber fees don't. They remain steady and are steadily growing.
It's not just Fox News that gets those fees. All the channels these companies own — HBO, TBS, TNT, FX, Fox Sports One, etc. — get fees from companies. All the distributors — Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, etc. — fight to keep those fees low to protect their own profits.
With consolidation on the distribution side, those distribution companies have better leverage in any deal over subscriber fees. It's a lot easier for Comcast to say, "We're not paying you more for Fox News" if it has more control over the TV market. It can really choke out Fox News, and cut down on how many homes it's in. That cuts down on ad revenue and obviously eliminates the subscription fee altogether.
But if Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, can go to Comcast and say, you better pay up for Fox News otherwise we're going to pull access to TNT, TBS, Fox Sports, and so on, he's going to be able to negotiate from a better position of strength.
This is a particularly important time for something like this.
Actually, I should correctly have stated Murdoch ALREADY has a controlling stake in BSKYB .....my lack of sleep last night mixed this up with TWX. BSKYB is owned by FOX which is controlled by Murdoch. Sorry for the confusion.
Furthermore, Ken, you ask :Why would a distributor want to buy a studio?
Why does Comcast want Universal? Why does Murdoch continue to acquire a distribution channel in addition to content providers?
Not only will Murdoch gain access to more content via FOXA, but he will also control close to 40% of DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS via BSKYB, which ironically, he sought a merger with prior to the News Corp scandal. Continued public pressure later forced News Corporation to cancel its proposed takeover of the British telecommunications company BSkyB.
British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (commonly known as BSkyB; trading as Sky) is a satellite broadcasting, broadband and telephone services company headquartered in London, with operations in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland. Formed in 1990 by the equal merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting, BSkyB is the largest pay-TV broadcaster in the UK and Ireland with over 10 million subscribers.
BSkyB is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalization of approximately £14.32 billion (US$23 billion) as of 30 September 2013 on the London Stock Exchange.
I HIGHLIGHT THIS:21st Century Fox owns a 39.14 per cent controlling stake in the company.
Ken, I do not want a merger badly. It is only logical to expect that LGF is a topic for merger as it is the ONLY freestanding Independent MAJOR Studio. Sony owns Columbia, Comcast owns Universal, Buena Vista/Pixar/Marvel/Touchstone/Walt disney studios are owned by Disney which has a diversified business of amusement parks and resorts, Paramount is owned by Viacom, Warner Brothers is owned by Time Warner entertainment conglomerate.
You ask "Why did Fox spin off their studio business as FOXA?". Did you forget about the News Corp scandal which was a major drag on the combined company?: The News International phone-hacking scandal – dubbed "Hackgate", "Rupertgate", or "Murdochgate" by the press – is a controversy involving the now defunct News of the World and other British newspapers published by News International, a subsidiary of the then-News Corporation. FOXA was spun off from News Corp on 6/24/2013, not FOX. Rupert Murdoch is chairman of both companies and CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox, and retains his grip on both companies by controlling nearly 40% of the voting stock in each. As indicated by AP:
The split completes a process that the company announced a year ago, and responds to investor concerns that the newspaper and book publishing divisions were dragging on the faster growing pay TV business.
By separating, the publishing division can devote resources toward engineering a turnaround, while the Fox side focuses on launching a national sports network to be called Fox Sports 1 that will compete with pay TV leader ESPN.
Sooooo, it is interesting that Murdoch wants to increase his content library by buying Time Warner. He will be the only company to own 2 MAJOR studios: Warner Brothers and 21st Century Fox. He knows the value of content. Let's see if there are any other bidders that come to bear in this development. We will see where the industry is heading soon enough. GL
timecruiser, I agree on China not wanting to deal with others. I read an article that indicated that China does not like to deal with the traditional major studios. Not sure of the validity of the statement, but it was mentioned nonetheless.
if not merge with content players, then content providers will have to go find other digital distribution sources which are also growing (ie Amazon, Netflix, You-tube, and many lesser known names). the downside with that is that the big dogs like Comcast may muscle arm content distributors for exclusivity rights which will limit their ability to run shows on multiple platforms at the same time.
In addition, another important reason for mergers of content provider is muscle power. The distribution channels are merging: Comcast/TWC, ATT/Dish, Verizon/Direct TV, Charter/?????. When there are fewer channels, then there are fewer negotiations by content providers with shrinking traditional networks that have more power to payless than fair price for content. Do you think a STARZ or AMCX will have much bargaining power for their content if they have less places to go to distribute it? That is why they will have to merge with the big content players IMO.
Ken, I disagree with you on your comments:
Sure content is valuable but there is nothing special about LGF to make them a takeover target. If Sony wanted to make teen movies they would just start making them. They don't need LGF. LGF does not have a brand yet that guarentees success of a movie or show like DIS or HBO. This is why no one will buy LGF.
You are forgetting about tech companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Netflix etc that do not have studio expertise. LGF/Summit is a proven leader in working with the best talents in the movie and TV business. They have years of connections in the global distribution network. A-List starts and producers WANT to work with LGF. Their innovation with the 10/90 series model and their flexibility of moving in the direction of the digital age for the next generation of consumers is much more agile than the traditional majors because of their entrepeneurial spirit. They now have recruited the best talent in gaming development, new generation studios (RocketJump), and social network marketing. Their networks got them into China (the most difficult market to tap) and will continue to grow in emerging countries such as India, Russia, South America, etc.
Don't underestimate the difficulty of building the breadth of this global business. It is no easy task. Someone with deep pockets will want the proven leadership and cost controls that LGF has to offer. I would also not discount the desire for a major studio like Columbia, Universal, Fox, TWC or CBS, VIA to want to increase their libraries with valuable content. What other studio has built a library of over 15,000 titles?
Ha ha...you can at least get his name right...Bob, not John. Know what you own and why you own it. This is a good investment at the wrong time. I plan to nibble at these deep discount prices. The whole LED sector seems to be in a slump YTD with losses.
I'm with you MDR...funny thing is that I don't mind being a temporary bagholder to get in on these prices. Still need to load up in my retirement accounts as there won't be this opportunity at these prices next year.
Dan, Currently, deal for TWX is at about 2.47x sales...looks like price will go up to $100/share or more based on speculators...that places LGF at $50+ consistent with the lengthy acquisition analysis I posted to this thread in the past.
Very good script writers for Power Rangers. They will certainly make it less corny than it is now. Thanks for posting
Word on the street is this Alibaba partnership lessons the worry of not having an Hunger Games phenomona franchise in the pipeline. IMO, more important to buy the dips if execs allude to large incremental profits from this deal.
Great news LangunaDan! Thanks for posting. We knew that LGF was worth 45+ all along even before this announcement. So with Piper news, I need to up my target to probably $50+ inorganic growth and now the price is definielty higher than $45 for acquisition as a premium for all these new growth strategies is warranted! Congrats for holding long timers !
You're back been_there! Good to see you here again. ExpTrader has a message in your email to join the private board. Can you let him in?
Bellacristo, thanks for your insight. I don't have a medical background but I was thinking the same thing as you so it gives me validation. How smart the team is to start their first indication with a disease that affects patients that have a very specific mutation affecting 90% of the population. The odds are in their favor that the results of the study will be very positive and effective in helping them. And once efficacy is shown here, it opens up the door to so many diseases that the platform can treat.
It is interesting that they will be doing the study with 2nd generation ASO drugs instead of GSOs. I hope the limitations of generation 2 drugs will be minimal in treating the patients with Waldenstroms. The IDRA team must have weighed the pros and cons of which platform to use in its studies and must have felt that they needed to start the studies and move forward while still planning the indications they will pursue with the GSO platform