(Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc held preliminary takeover talks with Discovery Communications Inc with a view to creating a $100 billion entertainment giant, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday.
Fox, which like other broadcasters is battling a shift to on-demand TV, denied there had been any talks with Discovery, which owns Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.
“No truth, not even any sort of talks”, said John Connolly, a spokesman for the company in Australia. “There is no truth in the rumors.”
The AFR reported senior executives from both companies met about two weeks ago to discuss a potential takeover bid, citing unnamed sources close to the situation.
The discussions were “nascent”, and there was no guarantee that a formal offer would be made or that discussions have continued, it said.
Discovery declined to comment on the report.
Reporting by Lincoln Feast and Byron Kaye in Sydney; Editing by Ian Geoghegan