U.S. News

Dow Jones Board Member Moves to Block News Corp: WSJ


A Dow Jones board member who is also part of the family that controls the company has launched a last-ditch effort to block a takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Christopher Bancroft has recently approached hedge funds, private equity firms and General Electric , hoping to buy enough voting shares of Dow Jones to give him the power to thwart a sale, the paper reported on its Web site, citing people familiar with the matter.

News Corp. , owner of Fox News, the New York Post and a sprawling media empire, has offered $5 billion, or $60 a share, for Dow Jones , the publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

Bancroft is trying to buy more "supervoting" shares from other Bancroft heirs who may be ready to sell their stakes but share his distaste for handing the family legacy to Murdoch, the Journal said.

Bancroft, his two siblings, his niece and their children are beneficiaries of trusts that control about one-third of the Bancrofts' stake in Dow Jones.

The Bancroft family controls 64% of the company's voting power. Bancroft is one of three family members on the Dow Jones board. He did not return a message seeking comment.

Bancroft's cousin Leslie Hill, another Dow Jones director, has also been exploring options for an alternative to Murdoch's offer, but the two relatives are not working together, the Journal said.