Belfast Telegraph

NewsCorp in bid for control of BSkyB

By Graeme Evans

Bskyb said it had rebuffed an initial attempt by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to take full control of the UK broadcaster.

The 700p-a-share approach for the 61% of BSkyB that NewsCorp does not currently own values the FTSE 100 Index company at around £12bn.

BSkyB said the proposal significantly undervalued the business, and called for an offer in excess of 800p a share, in part to compensate shareholders for the wait they would face while regulatory clearance was sought.

Despite their differences over price, the two parties have agreed to begin work on the regulatory process required for a tie-up. Any transaction would be seen as a test of the Government's attitude to media consolidation and the power of the Murdoch empire.

Chase Carey, NewsCorp's chief operating officer, said: "We believe that this is the right time for BSkyB to become a wholly-owned part of News Corporation with its greater scale and broader geographic reach."

The broadcaster has nearly 10m customers and employs 16,000 people.