Dick Parsons: Fox’s Time Warner offer ‘way off the mark’

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Dick Parsons. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
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Alex Weprin

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The former C.E.O. of Time Warner, Dick Parsons, said Wednesday that 21st Century Fox's offer to merge with Time Warner is "way off the mark."

Parsons, who served as president and later C.E.O. of Time Warner from 1995 to 2007, made his comments in an interview with Bloomberg TV's Trish Regan. He said that while he wouldn't speculate about the ultimate fate of the deal, he felt as though what was on the table now wasn't going to cut it.

"I won't go so far as to say it is much ado about nothing, but we are a long long long way from a transaction there," Parsons said. "The price that was offered is way off the mark, and the form of the currency is way off the mark."

The deal proposed by 21st Century Fox was made up of some cash, but mostly of non-voting shares of the company's stock.

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As for why the proposed merger has drawn so much attention, even though it was quickly rebuffed, Parsons has a theory.

"I think people got excited, everybody loves a fight, loves to show up at a fight where people are arm-wrestling or whatnot, but Time Warner is a big morsel," Parsons said.

Parsons was C.E.O. when many of Time Warner's top executives rose at the company, and acknowledged that he knows most of them very well, and remains a shareholder.

"They have creation of shareholder value uppermost in mind," Parsons said. "I think they know what they are doing and a have a plan going forward."

You can watch the full interview here: http://bloom.bg/1obo4bp