Union Asks Buffett and Burkle to Consider Buying Dow Jones

By: Joe Strupp Just days after retaining financial advisors to help seek buyers for Dow Jones & Company other than News Corporation, The Independent Association of Publishers' Employees (IAPE) announced it had reached out to Warren Buffett and The Yucaipa Companies as potential buyers, according to a union release Tuesday.

The statement, from the union that represents more than 2,000 Dow Jones employees, reveals that IAPE and Ownership Associates, retained days ago to help in a search, had contacted Buffet and the Yucaipa Companies, but offered few specifics. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns The Buffalo News, while the Yucaipa Companies, led by Ron Burkle, have had previous interest in acquiring Tribune Company.

"Our union remains hopeful that the Bancroft family will conclude that a sale of Dow Jones is not necessary," IAPE President Steve Yount declared in the release. "But if the Bancroft family is to be persuaded that a sale must take place, we believe that there are alternatives to Mr. [Rupert] Murdoch. Yucaipa Companies has agreed to work with IAPE, TNG-CWA and the Bancroft family to review their alternatives. The Newspaper Guild-CWA has worked with Yucaipa in the past and very much appreciates its efforts in aiding us in exploring alternatives."

The effort to find other buyers comes in the wake of Murdoch's $60-per-share offer several weeks ago to purchase The Wall Street Journal's parent company, a move that has sparked some skepticism among longtime Dow Jones employees and some members of the Bancroft Family, which owns a controlling interest in the company.

Bancroft family members initially declined the offer, but met on Monday with Murdoch who has continue to seek a deal.

"IAPE and its advisors will continue to explore other investment relationships," Yount continued. "We are optimistic that there are many leaders in the investment community who will be ready to come to the side of the employees of Dow Jones & Company to defend the editorial independence and unquestioned integrity of both Dow Jones and its flagship publication, The Wall Street Journal."

Buffett and Yucaipa Companies officials could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.


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