New York—Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal
, Tuesday confirmed that it has received an unsolicited bid from News Corp. to acquire the company for $60 a share.
Dow Jones said its board of directors and members and trustees of the Bancroft family, who hold 62% of the voting stock, are evaluating the proposal. The company would fetch about $5 billion in a sale based on the number of outstanding shares.
"When you get interest from News Corp., you have to sit up, listen to what they say and examine what your options are," said Reed Phillips, a partner in media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips.
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 many 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.