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Bancroft family members oppose News Corp.’s bid for Dow Jones

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New York—News Corp.’s unsolicited bid to acquire Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, for $60 a share is meeting with resistance from some members of the Bancroft family, which holds a controlling interest in Dow Jones.

A release put out Tuesday a few hours after news of the bid broke said a representative of the Bancroft family, Michael B. Elefante, had informed the Dow Jones board of directors that members of the family have advised him that they will vote against the proposal. The family members who plan to vote against the offer control slightly more than 50% of the voting stock of Dow Jones. Overall, the family owns 64% of the voting stock.

The News Corp. offer is valued at about $5 billion.

News Corp. Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch has reportedly been interested in acquiring Dow Jones for the past few years.

News Corp., one of the five largest media companies in the world, owns, among other assets, Fox Broadcasting Co., 20thCentury Fox, BSkyB satellite TV service, MySpace, the New York Post, The Weekly Standard and several print properties in Australia and the U.K.

The bid comes amid an era of dramatic change at Dow Jones. Earlier this year, the Journal unveiled a comprehensive redesign featuring more news analysis and enhanced coverage of vertical markets. In early 2006, the company established a new organizational structure around three markets: consumer media, enterprise media and community media.

—Matthew Schwartz

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