Dow Jones Bidder to Meet Board; News Corp. Deal Reached
Brad Greenspan, who is offering to buy 25% of Dow Jones for $60 a share, said on CNBC that he will be meeting with the Dow Jonesboard later this week to talk about his proposal.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Dow Jones agreed on a structure to protect the editorial independence of Dow's news operations, including the Wall Street Journal. The deal must now go to Dow Jones' controlling family, the Bancrofts, for approval.
Greenspan, the former chief executive of Intermix Media--parent of MySpace--until it was bought by News Corp., told Maria Bartiromo: "We have have put out a proposal to the family and the board, and I think they’re looking at it with great interest. We plan to meet with the board later this week – that’s a new development."
He added: "Ultimately, the Bancroft family and the other shareholders are going to take a hard look at the other options [besides News Corp.’s offer] before they move forward.”
A pact to protect journalistic integrity is seen as one of the biggest hurdles to News Corp. chief executive Murdoch's $5 billion offer to buy Dow Jones, which also publishes Barron's and business news Web site MarketWatch.com.
Discussions accelerated last week after Dow Jones said its board would take over negotiations with News Corp.
The Bancroft family had met Murdoch in early June and discussed a proposal to protect editorial independence. But the Dow Jones board grew concerned that lengthy deliberations among a wide network of Bancroft family members could push Murdoch to withdraw his bid.
Some three dozen Bancroft family members control Dow Jones through a combined ownership of 64% of voting shares.
Murdoch is offering to buy the company for $60 per share, a 65% premium to Dow Jones' share price prior to the company's disclosure of the offer.
Some financial analysts and journalism experts have said that if Murdoch withdrew his offer, Dow Jones stock price could fall as low as the $30 range per share.