By Jason Theodorou

BSkyB has refused an attempt by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to assume complete control of the company. BSkyB said that the offer by News Corp. of 700p a share had significantly undervalued the business, which they put at 800p a share.

BSkyB's valuation was reached partly to appease shareholders, who would need to wait while regulatory clearance was sought for the takeover.

Despite the difference in price, the two companies have agreed to look further into the regulatory process. News Corp. made a bid for 61% of BSkyB, an increase on their existing 39.1% holding in the company.

Nicholas Ferguson, senior independent director at BSkyB, said: 'Based on careful review and advice, it is the unanimous view of the independent directors that there is a significant gap between the proposal from News Corporation and the value of the company'.

Rupert Murdoch's son James is the chairman of BSkyB, but is not currently involved in the negotiations between the two companies, which is being handled by eight independent directors. The directors have not ruled out a lower or higher offer than 800p a share.

If a merger were reached, Murdoch would add Sky in its entirely to News Corp's formidable media stable, which already includes newspapers The Times and The Sun in the UK, and The Wall Street Journal and the Fox television network in the US.

BSkyB shares lifted 19% as the City bet that News Corp. would pay 800p a share for the company.

News Corporation is valued at over £37 billion.


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