Murdoch Says “No,” Means “Maybe”

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After yesterday’s announcement that an “agreement” had been reached to secure the editorial independence of the Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch said that he would not raise his current, $5bn bid for Dow Jones. “Everything is done. We are just waiting for a final approval of the Bancroft family. The final approval is in the next two, three week’s time or not at all,” Murdoch said today from Poland.
This, of course, doesn’t mean a modest bid increase is out of the question. One can hardly expect a perspicacious dealmaker like Rupe to tell Reuters, “I probably will up the offer, I just want to see if the Bancrofts will take the five billion first.”
It also seems that yesterday’s agreement on the Journal may have been prematurely announced. Parts of the deal remain, “sketchy or not yet written,” the New York Times is reporting. “The nuts and bolts are there, but not all the details,” a source involved in the negotiations said. Only a few of the Bancrofts, who have ultimate veto power over the deal, have been briefed on the still-unreleased Dow-NewsCorp. agreement.
Dow Jones Accord In Place, But Incomplete [Dealbook]
Murdoch: No plans to raise Dow Jones bid [Reuters]

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