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The Dow of Rupert: Bancroft Family Agrees to Meet With News Corp

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Rupert Murdoch's bid for Dow Jones & Company is heating up again.
The family that controls Dow Jones agreed to meet with News Corporation, the media company headed by Murdoch . News Corp made an unsolicited bid for Dow Jones earlier this month. Until now the Bancroft family, which controls 64% of the voting power of Dow Jones largely through its super-voting class B shares, had refused to meet with Murdoch or representatives of Dow Jones to discuss the offer.
"Since first receiving the News Corporation proposal, the Family has carefully considered and discussed among ourselves and with our advisors how best to achieve that overarching objective, while serving the best interests of the Company's various constituencies,” the family said in a preliminary statement first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Dow Jones.
“After a detailed review of the business of Dow Jones and the evolving competitive environment in which it operates, the Family has reached consensus that the mission of Dow Jones may be better accomplished in combination or collaboration with another organization, which may include News Corporation,” the statement says.
In early May, News Corp offered $5 billion for Dow Jones, a sixty-seven percent premium over where the stock price trading before the bid. Through representatives on the board of directors of Dow Jones, members of the Bancroft family representing a majority of the voting power declined the offer. The board of directors has officially take no action on the offer. Since making the bid Murdoch has attempted to win support from the Bancroft family, but he has not increased his offer. In recent weeks some analysts began predicting that Murdoch would withdraw the offer if the family continued to refuse to negotiate.
The Wall Street Journal said the statement would be finalized after the conclusion of a meeting of the board of directors, which was underway tonight. At the time this was posted, no statement had been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on behalf of Dow Jones or the Bancrofts.
The statement may mean that the Bancrofts are willing to accept an offer from Rupert Murdoch. But by indicating a willingness to sell, they may also be hoping to attract other bidders. Tonight’s statement affirms that the family will also consider other bids.
Bancroft Family Plans to Discuss Dow Jones Bid With News Corp. [Wall Street Journal]
Bancrofts' Statement on Dow Jones Bid [Wall Street Journal]