Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Murdoch Bids $5 Billion for Dow Jones

Want a Journal Mate?

The rule of media empires is he who owns the content rules. Whether content pays is another matter! Wall Street seems convinced that top shelf journalism and having a business model in the black are two diferent things after all. (And I do not mean Conrad Black!)

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has bid $ 5 billion for Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, and the Dow Jones Newwires among other media properties.

Is Murdoch paying too much? he does not think so: "[W]e feel it's worth this. This is the greatest newspaper in America, one of the greatest in the world. It has great journalists which deserve, I think, a much wider audience. We feel that with coming both online and offline, there's a great deal to be done here. It's got great journalists, it's got great management, but it's got a rather confined capital. It's got to be part of a bigger organization to be taken further."

The Bancrofts say "No."

Although the bid is a 67% premium over the stock price that does not mean it is a deal.

Like many traded newspaper companies, Dow Jones has more than one class of shares. In this instance, the Bancroft family, which has a minority of the shares has a voting majority. The Financial Times quotes Michael Elefante, a Dow Jones director and lawyer representing the Bancroft family, as saying “Members of the family and the trustees of trust for their benefit have advised him that they will vote shares constituting slightly more than 50 per cent of the outstanding voting power of Dow Jones against the proposal.”

Stay tuned, the fun has just begun.

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