The Washington Times’ Kara Rowland writes that Dow Jones’ controlling interests will vote to reject the offer…
The Bancroft family, which owns more than 60 percent of the voting stock in Dow Jones, will vote against the $60-per-share proposal from the Australian media mogul, Dow Jones said last night.
“Dow Jones said its board would factor this information into its evaluation,” its statement said.
It remains to be seen whether Dow Jones, which also owns a newswire, the financial weekly Barron’s and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is dead set against a takeover or if the New York company is simply baiting News Corp. and other potential bidders to raise the stakes above what was an already premium bid.
“It’s not surprising,” said Larry Grimes, president of W.B. Grimes & Co., a Gaithersburg firm that handles media mergers. “You get an unsolicited offer, it’s kind of standard practice not to just accept the first offer that comes on the table but to see if there’s any room for negotiation.”
UPDATE: The New York Times’ Richard Siklos and Andrew Ross Sorkin have more…
One concern expressed by the Bancrofts, according to a person close to the family, is the future of the News Corporation. Mr. Murdoch is 76; there is no declared successor and his empire has been built on his singular vision. Although his mostly conservative politics are largely in sync with The Journal’s editorial page, some worried that he would exert influence over the news pages or make the paper more sensational.
The family would be more comfortable, said this person, selling to a buyer like Warren E. Buffett or Bill Gates, even at a reduced price.
According to someone close to Dow Jones management, all four family representatives on the board are against accepting the bid.
“It’s a combination of things,” this person said. “They don’t like Murdoch, and they have a proud heritage of owning the paper for 100 years and don’t want to give that up.”