labels: industry - media, m&a
Bancrofts lobby to influence sale of Dow Jones to Murdoch''s News Corp news
29 July 2007

Members of the family that controls 64 per cent of the voting stock of Dow Jones & Co Inc, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, are lobbying their positions to influence the outcome of News Corp`s $5-billion bid.

According to The Wall Street Journal the Bancrofts remain divided over the buyout offer from Rupert Murdoch`s News Corp, with one family member sending a lengthy 4,000 word letter to persuade his relatives to accept the deal while another faction, based in Denver, is urging for a higher price.

Meanwhile, family lawyers are trying to change the voting structure of the biggest trust held by the Bancrofts, a move that could reduce the influence of Christopher Bancroft, who is strongly against Murdoch bid.(See: Dow Jones board member opposes sale to News Corp)

Crawford Hill, a family member who supports the sale, wrote a lengthy 4000 word letter to other family members that was posted on the Journal`s Web site in support of the deal.

Other family members are attracted by the $60-per-share offer. A competing proposal is expected from internet entrepreneur Brad Greenspan, who said that he was revising his plan.

He said he has now assembled about four investors, without naming them, who he said were interested in his proposal and one "large" Asian investor could also join by next week, he said.

In a previous plan, Greenspan had proposed lending between $400 million and $600 million to some Bancroft to buy out other family members at $60 a share. He had also suggested Dow Jones take a $2.5 billion loan to buy back 50 per cent of shares, which he said was resisted by some shareholders. (See: Dow Jones receives alternate bids)

Greenspan said he is now contemplating the possibility of his investor group buying up to $600 million of shares. He also suggested the company spin off "new asset groups" of online video and cable channels, possibly into tracking stocks in three regions: the US, Europe and Asia.

Greenspan wants to meet the Bancrofts, some of who, he says, are interested in his proposal and the management of Dow Jones.

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Bancrofts lobby to influence sale of Dow Jones to Murdoch''s News Corp