Dow Jones agrees to sell to Murdoch
Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 8:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
NEW YORK - Rupert Murdoch is poised to win control of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. after the company's board approved his $5 billion buyout offer late Tuesday, a person familiar with the matter said.
Murdoch will be clinching one of the great trophies of U.S. journalism and a newspaper that is considered required daily reading among the business and power elite.
The deal will also expand Murdoch's already massive global media and entertainment empire News Corp., which owns the Fox broadcast network; Fox News Channel; the Twentieth Century Fox movie and TV studio; MySpace; newspapers in Australia and the U.K.; and several satellite TV broadcasters.
The boards of News Corp. and Dow Jones have both approved the deal, a person with knowledge of the matter said late Tuesday, but this person asked to remain anonymous because the deal had not been completely finalized and there was no formal announcement yet.
News Corp. had said it would only agree to move ahead if the deal had sufficient support from Dow Jones' controlling shareholders, the Bancroft family.
The Journal reported that a key Bancroft family trust had reversed itself and decided to support the deal, meaning that votes representing about 37 percent of Dow Jones' shareholder vote were now in favor of selling to Murdoch.
A Denver-based family trust with about 9 percent of the company vote had been holding out for a higher price but agreed to the deal after Dow Jones' board said it would set aside funds to pay the Bancroft family's advisory fees, which could total at least $30 million, the paper reported.
Combined with the 29 percent of Dow Jones shares that are publicly held and very likely to support Murdoch, the deal appeared to have critical mass.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article