‘WSJ’: Bancrofts to Meet Today On Murdoch Dow Jones Offer

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By: E&P Staff

In the first possible opening for News Corp.’s stalled $5 billion offer for Dow Jones & Co., the Bancroft family that controls the company will meet Wednesday to discuss their options, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Journal reporter Matthew Karnitschnig wrote that there is no formal agenda for the meeting, but that it would allow family members to openly debate the offer.

Dow Jones’ board has taken no action on the $60-per-share bid from News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch that became publicly known on May 1. The far-flung Bancroft family controls a 64% voting stake in the company, and a representative of the family quickly asserted that members controlling 52% of voting stock were opposed to accepting the offer.

There have been persistent reports, however, that other Bancrofts are interested in at least discussing the matter. The bid represents a 67% premium on the trading price of the stock prior to the offer.

On May 11, Murdoch sent the family a letter in which he pledged to keep the editorial integrity and independence of the flagship Journal and other Dow Jones news organizations.

He also offered to include a Bancroft representative on the board if he takes over Dow Jones.

In overnight trading, Dow Jones (DJ:NYSE) was up $1.28 to $52.74.

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