January 12, 2016 / 8:49 PM / 2 years ago

Bewkes against HBO spinoff, open to Time Warner sale: NY Post

(Reuters) - Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes is against a sale or a spinoff of premium cable channel HBO, but hinted he would be open to a sale of the whole company, the New York Post reported, citing sources.

Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner Inc., attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 10, 2012. Reuters/Jim Urquhart

Bewkes told investors in a series of closed-door meetings on Monday that splitting units HBO or the Turner Broadcasting cable-TV business wouldn’t make sense, the Post reported on Tuesday.

HBO’s shows include hits such as “Game of Thrones” and “True Detective”.

Bewkes played coy when asked about a sale of Time Warner, saying he wanted to “increase shareholder value,” sources told the New York Post.

A Time Warner spokesman declined to comment.

In 2014, Time Warner snubbed a takeover offer from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) that valued it at $85 per share. Meanwhile, activist investor Carl Icahn is buying up shares in Time Warner, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. CNBC quoted him as saying that he does not own one share of Time Warner.

Icahn waged an unsuccessful break-up campaign against Time Warner in 2006, when Bewkes was the No. 2 executive at the company.

Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Don Sebastian

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