Officials from PointCast Inc were yesterday vigorously denying a report in the Wall Street Journal that News Corp was in talks to acquire the screen saver-cum-push technology pioneer for between $350m and $450m cash. News Corp Ltd was not denying the story, merely offering no comment. There is zero percent chance of that, that’s just not going to happen, PointCast chief executive officer Christopher Hassett told Reuters confidently. Hassett, whose tone implied the approach is unwelcome, despite the large sums involved, added that the intention however is not to remain private, but to go for an initial public offering (IPO), probably this year. Cupertino, California-based PointCast has raised $48m in private funding thus far. Hassett also said that the company’s investment banker, Morgan Stanley would handle any IPO. An acquisition by a media giant like News Corp would not best please some of PointCast’s partners, including Time Warner Inc, Dow Jones & Co, Times Mirror Co or Knight-Ridder Inc, who all have channels on PointCast’s desktop. Hassett also said that rumors of a possible takeover by another of its partners, Microsoft Corp, were just as spurious.