Murdoch's Fox open to giving Time Warner board seats in new bid: Bloomberg

WASHINGTON Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:34am EDT

A woman walks past the Time Warner Center near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

A woman walks past the Time Warner Center near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York July 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Adrees Latif

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is open to giving Time Warner Inc shareholders seats on the new company's board if its takeover bid succeeds, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Board representation could appear in a revised proposal, Bloomberg cited one of the people as saying. It did not say how many board seats were being considered and added the two sides are not currently in negotiations.

Time Warner's board rejected Murdoch's $80 billion takeover offer earlier this month, but the Fox chairman and chief executive officer is expected to continue the pursuit.

Bloomberg said the offer of board seats as part of an increased bid could help allay concerns of Time Warner investors about the dual-class stock structure that gives control to Murdoch, 83, and his family.

Nathaniel Brown, a spokesman for New York-based Fox, and Keith Cocozza, a spokesman for Time Warner, declined to comment on whether the companies have discussed board seats, Bloomberg said.

Mario Gabelli, one of Time Warner’s longest standing shareholders, said in an interview with Bloomberg last week that Murdoch should offer Time Warner investors a couple of board seats.

In a deal announced Friday, Britain's BSkyB agreed to pay $9 billion to buy Murdoch's pay-TV companies in Germany and Italy. Fox is expected to use the proceeds to fuel its pursuit of Time Warner.

(Writing by Frances Kerry; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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