Murdoch Time Warner Bid Team Includes Dow Jones Advisers
Rupert Murdoch, seeking to pull off his biggest deal ever, has brought some of the old team together again -- and made some substitutions.
Centerview Partners LLC’s co-founder Blair W. Effron, 52, is among the advisers working on Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner Inc. (TWX) who also helped on his 2007 purchase of Wall Street Journal owner Dow Jones & Co. So is JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s James B. “Jimmy” Lee, 61. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP is providing legal advice, just as in that deal.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) is willing to pay more than $75 billion for Time Warner, which said it rejected an earlier approach, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Any bump would depend on access to Time Warner’s books, these people said. In 2007, Murdoch’s News Corp. offered a 65 percent premium to win over Dow Jones shareholders in a $5.5 billion deal.
While Allen & Co.’s Nancy Peretsman was among News Corp.’s advisers on the Dow Jones purchase, the investment-banking boutique is so far absent this time, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Instead, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s John Waldron, who helped Murdoch split his company into Fox and News Corp., has lined up on Murdoch’s side. New York-based Goldman Sachs, the No. 1 adviser on mergers and acquisitions so far this year, worked for Dow Jones in 2007.
JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, and Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest, will help Murdoch finance the bid. Time Warner leapt 17 percent to $83.13 at the close yesterday in New York, bringing its gains for the year to 24 percent.
Murdoch, 83, and Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey L. Bewkes, 62, are regular attendees of Allen & Co.’s annual Sun Valley, Idaho, gathering -- including last week’s. Allen & Co. didn’t return a call seeking comment on the latest deal’s advisers after business hours.
Bewkes’s Time Warner has hired Citigroup Inc., where Raymond J. “Ray” McGuire leads the investment-banking division, for financial advice. McGuire along with senior media banker Ketan Mehta are advising. Bewkes’s predecessor as Time Warner’s chairman and CEO, Richard Parsons, later served as chairman of Citigroup before stepping down in 2012. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is providing legal advice to Time Warner.
(An earlier version of this story corrected the spelling of Bewkes’s name.)
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeffrey McCracken in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org