Warner Music Group Corp has rejected a $28.50-a-share takeover approach from EMI Group that valued the music major at $4.2 billion.

Warner Music Group Corp has rejected a $28.50-a-share takeover approach from EMI Group that valued the music major at $4.2 billion.

In a statement issued today (May 3) to the London Stock Exchange, EMI confirmed that it approached WMG on May 1 with a cash and shares buyout proposal.

The following day, WMG said "that it did not wish to enter into discussions regarding EMI's proposal," according to the EMI statement.

In a separate statement issued from New York City, WMG explained that EMI's proposal was "not in the best interests of our shareholders" and that it had "unanimously rejected it." The preliminary non-binding approach had been "carefully evaluated" by the WMG board together with its external legal and financial advisors.

EMI, however, maintains that buying WMG remains an option that would benefit both companies' shareholders.

"The Board of EMI continues to believe that an acquisition of Warner Music by EMI would be very attractive to both sets of shareholders but will only pursue a transaction that delivers enhanced value and earnings accretion to EMI shareholders," EMI said in its statement.

Stock in EMI was down 2.93% to 273 pence in Wednesday morning trading on the LSE.

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

EMI's stock rose to a 52-week high on April 24 on renewed investor talk on a tie-up.