EMI Group and Warner Music Group are in the swing of another complex merger dance. In a statement issued today (June 28), London-based EMI said it had rejected a £2.5 billion ($4.5 billion) count

EMI Group and Warner Music Group are in the swing of another complex merger dance. In a statement issued today (June 28), London-based EMI said it had rejected a £2.5 billion ($4.5 billion) counter-bid from its N.Y.-based rival.

EMI described Warner's 320 pence ($5.8) per share approach as "wholly unacceptable."

Following the announcement, stock in EMI soared by as much as 9.6% during morning trading on the London Stock Exchange to set a four-year high of 311 pence ($5.6).

"The board of EMI continues to believe that an acquisition of Warner Music by EMI at $31 per share in cash would be very attractive to both sets of shareholders and would deliver value to EMI's shareholders which is far superior to Warner Music's revised alternative proposal," EMI said in its statement.

EMI's board said it was committed to pursuing such a transaction "only if it delivers enhanced value and earnings accretion to EMI shareholders."

On May 3, Warner Music rejected a £2.3 billion pound ($4.2 billion) approach from EMI, worth $28.50 per share.

EMI disclosed today that it subsequently raised its offer on June 23 to $31 cash per Warner Music share.

EMI said it envisaged that its proposal would be funded by debt finance and a rights issue, both of which would be fully underwritten, and the disposal of "certain music publishing assets."

On June 27, Warner Music, according to the statement, rejected EMI's proposal and submitted the revised offer to acquire EMI at 320 pence ($5.8) per share. That proposal was "unanimously rejected" by EMI's board.

Warner's shares are currently valued at $27.23.

Just last month, EMI reported a 20% full-year rise in net profit to £90 million ($168 million) as revenues from its digital music activities grew 139% to £112.1 million ($211.2 million).

Speculation on an EMI/Warner Music merger has arisen frequently since the two companies initially attempted to amalgamate in 1999. Those plans were scuppered when it became clear that the pact would not bear scrutiny from the European Commission's competition department. Another attempted merger in 2003 also came to nothing.