Dennis Cook  /  AP file
Rupert Murdoch
updated 12/17/2004 9:27:34 AM ET 2004-12-17T14:27:34

Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire CEO of News Corp., has reportedly offered to buy a three-story penthouse for $44 million, which would be the highest price ever paid for a Manhattan apartment if the deal goes through.

Murdoch and his family must also be approved by the co-op board of the building, at 834 Fifth Avenue, The New York Times reported Friday, citing an unnamed source informed of the negotiations. Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for Murdoch, declined to comment to the Times.

The New York Post, which is owned by News Corp., reported last week that the apartment, the former home of Laurance S. Rockefeller, had been sold — but did not name the buyer.

The 20-room apartment spans the 14th, 15th and 16th floors of the building. It has 8,000 square feet of floor space and spacious terraces on each floor. The monthly maintenance fee is $21,469.07.

Murdoch, 73, is ranked No. 27 on Forbes magazine’s list of richest people in America. His net worth is estimated at $6.9 billion.

The current record for a Manhattan apartment sale is $42.25 million, paid last year for a pair of adjoining condominium units at the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle.

News Corp. is also the parent of the 20th Century Fox movie studio, the Fox television network, Fox News Channel and various other cable channels.

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