The Wall Street Journal (registration required) reports that the deal for News Corp (NWS) to acquire Dow Jones (DJ) will be put to the full Dow Jones board this evening for its approval. In addition to The Wall Street Journal and its international and online editions, Dow Jones publishes Barron’s, SmartMoney magazines and other periodicals; Dow Jones Newswires; Dow Jones Indexes; and the Ottaway group of community newspapers.
The deal must still get approval from the Bancroft family, which controls 64% of Dow Jones’s voting power. The Bancroft family remains sharply divided on a sale to News Corp. While some members are open to a deal, others have been looking hard for an alternative. The Bancrofts want to pick the buyer which they perceive is most likely to offer editorial independence — and the highest price. They’re concerned with Rupert Murdoch‘s track record of editorial intervention.
We know Christopher Bancroft has been working hard to break apart the deal.
Do you think the deal will be approved? If so, what do you think Mr. Murdoch will do with the Journal and Dow Jones’ other publications?
Update 7/18/07: The sale is one step closer to being finalized. Dow Jones released a statement late last night saying that its board had determined that it would be prepared to approve “and recommend to the Dow Jones stockholders, including the Bancroft family stockholders,” an agreement to sell all outstanding shares of Dow Jones for $60 per share in cash. The final decision will be made by the Bancrofts, the family which owns the controlling interest in Dow Jones and could still block the sale. Two of the four Bancroft family members on the board did not take part in the vote.