Done deal: News Corp. to acquire Dow Jones for $5.6 billion

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New York—Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. on Wednesday said they have signed a definitive merger agreement for News Corp. to acquire Dow Jones for roughly $5.6 billion.

The deal, which ends a century of Bancroft-family ownership at Dow Jones, follows a three-month saga that divided the Bancroft family and gripped the media world.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dow Jones stockholders will get $60 in cash for each share of common stock and Class B common stock that they own. News Corp’s offer received support from Bancroft family members holding about 37% of Dow Jones’ voting power, more than half of the family’s total voting stake of 64.2%.

Murdoch, who also owns satellite TV service BSkyB, 20th Century Fox, Fox Broadcasting Co. and the New York Post, among other media assets, has vowed to pump investment into Dow Jones.

L. Gordon Crovitz, publisher of the Journal and exec VP at Dow Jones & Co., said in a publisher’s letter that will run in today’s Journal: “As part of News Corp., Journal growth could accelerate across print and online, including more areas of news and opinion coverage, greater distribution through the News Corp. cable, satellite and broadcast operations and the opportunity to play the leading role outside the U.S. that we have long played in our home market.”

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

—Matthew Schwartz

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