Rupert Murdoch has rejected an offer of £1bn for News International, the publisher of The Sun, The News of The World, The Timesand The Sunday Times. The offer was made my Daily Express and Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond. The man who declares himself a “charity crusader” clearly wants to expand his media empire, targeting The Sun specifically. But with such a large media empire already and past controversies, Murdoch rejected the offer. So is this the case of a personal issues, money issues or simply a power struggle?
In an interview with Management Today, Desmond revealed:
“A year ago, I walked into Rupert Murdoch’s office in New York with £1bn in my pocket. I said I wanted to buy News International for £1bn. Rupert said he didn’t want to sell but he acknowledged it was a good offer.”
Desmond is still hopeful that one day Murdoch will accept his offer stating “I normally get what I want. I’m patient.” It is apparent that Desmond wants to add to his already very successful media empire, which includes the Daily Express, the Daily Star and OK! Magazine.
Murdoch bought Channel 5 at the end of July and has already returned it to profit. It is thought that the main reason for it’s success is Desmond’s cost-cutting scheme. Quite controversially, earlier this year Desmond had a conflict with Rupert Murdoch’s daughterElisabeth, owner of production company Shine, over an unpaid bill for the talent show Don’t Stop Believing. A settlement has since been reached.
It is apparent that Desmond is aware of his “no nonsense” attitude stating:
“I apologise if we seem overaggressive and overabrasive, but if we don’t get this business sorted out quickly there won’t be a business. Remember, I was the only genuine bidder for Channel 5. UK, Channel 4 wanted it and tried to buy it, but it was only buying it for bandwidth. I’d guess a third of my staff love me, a third hate me and a third don’t know who I am. Which is OK. My charities, the causes I support – they all love me,”
Desmond’s career choices and statements have been seen as controversial in the past and it seems obvious that he is adamant that he wants a share of Murdoch’s ever-successful empire. Whether Murdoch rejected this offer because of money or pride, one thing is obvious; these men have more money than most would dream of having.