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Fox denies Discovery takeover report

Rupert Murdoch headshotTwenty First Century Fox has moved swiftly to deny reports that its executives have held early-stage takeover talks with Discovery Communications.

The US-listed giant, whose assets include the Fox broadcast network, numerous US and international cable channels and a US movie studio, was reported by the Australian Financial Review to have met with Discovery two weeks ago.

Discovery runs 48 channel brands around the world, including Discovery, Animal Planet and Eurosport. A Fox-Discovery tie-up would create a global US$100 billion entertainment business spanning factual, film, entertainment and sport.

The financial paper, citing sources close to the situation, said that senior execs from both companies had met with investment bankers.

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, however, moved swiftly to deny the talks took place and the AFR story was untrue.

Last year Fox failed in to execute a takeover of Time Warner.