New York: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. reached a tentative agreement to buy Dow Jones & Co. for $5 billion but the family with a controlling share in Dow is divided on whether to approve the deal, a report said.
The deal will be put to the full Dow Jones board today evening for its approval, according to the report in the Wall Street Journal, the leading US financial daily which is owned by Dow Jones.
It said in its Tuesday edition that Australian-born tycoon Murdoch and Dow Jones Chief Executive Richard Zannino had reached the agreement at a lunch, in what was likely to be the last round of talks on the takeover.
However it is not known whether the Bancroft family, which holds 64% of the voting stocks in the target company, will approve the deal, the newspaper said.
The tentative deal is to be presented to the Bancrofts at a meeting on Thursday, the report said. But it added that the family was divided over the takeover prospect, with some members taking steps to block it.
The Bancrofts initially rebuffed Murdoch’s takeover approach in May, citing concerns about editorial independence, but negotiations have persisted between the parties as Murdoch has sought to allay the family’s worries.
Murdoch resisted pressure from Dow Jones to raise his initial 60 dollar-per-share offer, and the $5 billion agreement reflects this original bid.
A number of Wall Street Journal journalists and a union representing Dow Jones’ employees have voiced strong opposition to Murdoch gaining control of Dow Jones and its prestigious business daily.