(Adds additional investor comment, Fox comment)
By Nadia Damouni and Ronald Grover
Aug 11 Hedge fund ValueAct Capital LLC said it
had taken a $1 billion stake in Rupert Murdoch-controlled film
and TV company Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.
Fox withdrew its $80 billion bid to buy Time Warner Inc
last week after being rebuffed by the owner of CNN, HBO
and Warner Bros studios. Murdoch said he has no plans to pursue
another company as an alternative.
"We support (Fox's) stand-alone plan and (believe) that it
would drive the stock higher," ValueAct Chief Executive Jeffrey
Ubben said in an interview on Monday, adding that he sees Fox as
a $50 stock in three years.
Fox shares closed up more than 1 percent at $34.77 on
Monday. The new stake will be ValueAct's fifth largest holding,
ValueAct, a hedge fund known for taking stakes in companies
and quietly affecting change over the long term, does see a
possible Time Warner tie-up down the road, Ubben said.
"It is important to the ecosystem," he said, adding Fox
should "retain the opportunity later to revisit the deal."
In addition, the ValueAct executive said he supported Fox's
$6 billion share repurchase plan, which it also announced last
"We thought it was something they should do if they were to
walk away, to remind people of their cash flow."
A Fox spokesman declined to comment.
CNBC reported ValueAct's stake earlier on Monday.
(Additional reporting by Soham Chatterjee and Liana Baker;
Editing by Ted Kerr, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Richard Chang)