However, participation in the leadership of the tightly controlled conglomerate may not be enough to make much difference, according to an individual close to Time Warner.
“It’s cosmetic; it doesn’t matter,” said the individual, who said the idea was being floated as a way to engage Time Warner in a dialogue.
21st Century Fox is family dominated, with Rupert Murdoch’s family controlling nearly 40% of its voting stock. Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan control three of the 12 board seats.
Roughly two weeks ago, Time Warner rejected Fox’s initial $85 a share offer in a combination of cash and stock. Since that time, the company has amended its bylaws to prevent a hostile takeover. Negotiations are not ongoing, according to individuals in both camps, and Time Warner has maintained it will create more value for its shareholders by remaining independent.
There is a discrepancy about whether or not Fox’s offer of board participation was included as part of the company’s initial approach to Time Warner. It is not clear how many seats Time Warner shareholders would receive as part of a sale.
Bloomberg first reported Fox’s willingness to consider board participation as part of its offer.