News Corp to buy Dow Jones for $5.6 billion | business | Hindustan Times
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News Corp to buy Dow Jones for $5.6 billion

business Updated: Aug 01, 2007 13:44 IST
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News Corp said on Wednesday it would buy Dow Jones & Co Inc for $5.6 billion after gaining enough support from the family that controls the Wall Street Journal's publisher.

The deal helps Rupert Murdoch achieve his decades-long dream of running the financial daily and comes after the 76-year-old media mogul spent the past three months courting the Bancroft family, which has controlled Dow Jones for more than a century.

In a joint statement, Dow Jones and News Corp said Bancroft family members holding about 37 per cent of Dow Jones's voting power agreed to support the deal.

Dow Jones shareholders still must approve the buyout, an outcome that analysts have said is all but guaranteed, given the 65 per cent premium Murdoch offered.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the boards of both the companies, Dow Jones shareholders will receive $60 in cash for each share of common stock or Class B common stock that they own, the companies said.

One Bancroft family member or another "mutually acceptable person" will be appointed to the News Corp board, the companies said.

They also agreed on a five-member committee to oversee the editorial independence of Dow Jones's news operations.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter, the companies said.

The Journal and other Dow Jones properties add to Murdoch's sprawling media empire -- from the Fox television stations and MySpace online social network to the Times of London and HarperCollins Publishers -- and would aid the launch of a Fox business channel later this year.

The family initially rejected Murdoch's bid over fears he would tarnish the Journal's image and use Dow Jones's news operations to further his business interests. Many Journal reporters, and Dow Jones employees, also opposed the deal and sought to attract other buyers.

In the end, his $60-per-share offer proved too attractive for many family members to resist, and it all but eliminated the possibility of competing offers.

Dow Jones, which competes with Reuters Group Plc, also owns the Barron's financial weekly, the MarketWatch.com financial news Web site and Dow Jones Newswires.

(Additional reporting by Paritosh Bansal)