News Corp. Aims For Full Ownership Of BSkyB

This time it looks like the rumors are reality. News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). wants to buy the 61 percent of BSkyB it doesn’t own but the UK satellite broadcaster turned down an offer that valued it around £12 billion as undervaluing the company, according to The Telegraph. A rumor earlier this year had News Corp. considering an offer worth nearly £13 billion. BSkyB board meeting is expected as early as Wednesday morning.

The situation is complicated by News Corp.’s existing 39 percent holding. Rupert Murdoch’s son James heads News Corp.’s interests in the UK, Europe and Asia, serves on its board — and is chairman of BSkyB (NYSE: BSY). More details in The Guardian.

Robert adds: News Corp made a 675p-per-share cash offer last Thursday (BSkyB didn’t tell the market), but raised the offer to 700p-per-share.

News Corp says this is a 22 premium on the June 9 closing price of 574p, is about 11.8 times the satcaster’s 2009/10 EBITDA, and values BSkyB at £7.8 billion ($11.8 billion).

From News Corp’s statement: “News Corp and the BSkyB Independent Directors have been unable to reach a mutually agreeable price at the current time. However, both parties have agreed to work together to proceed with the regulatory process in order to facilitate a proposed transaction and, accordingly, we have agreed to enter into a Cooperation Agreement.”

Deputy chair Chase Casey: