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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 08:19 GMT 09:19 UK
Murdoch wins fight for Dow Jones
Wall Street Journal on newspaper stand
The WSJ: Required reading for the US business and political elites

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has won his battle to buy US media giant Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

His News Corporation firm has secured the deal for $5.6bn (2.7bn), or $60 a share - a 65% premium to Dow's share price before the bid was announced.

The agreement comes after Mr Murdoch received the required level of support from the Bancroft family, who hold the majority of Dow Jones' shares.

It ends the Bancrofts' 100-year stewardship of the Dow Jones.

Given the Bancrofts' long and distinguished history as custodians of Dow Jones, we appreciate how difficult this decision was
Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation

The offer was approved by members of the Bancroft family who collectively owned 37% of Dow Jones' voting stock.

The Bancroft family controlled 64% of the shares of Dow Jones, but only about half of them needed to support Mr Murdoch's bid for it to succeed.

'Deeply gratified'

"I am deeply gratified at the level of support we have received from the Bancroft family and its trustees," said Mr Murdoch.

Rupert Murdoch
News Corporation already owns 100 other newspapers worldwide

"Given the Bancrofts' long and distinguished history as custodians of Dow Jones, we appreciate how difficult this decision was for some family members."

Richard F. Zannino, Dow Jones chief executive, said: "The transaction will deliver significant returns to our shareholders.

"It will also build on our recent, industry-leading earnings growth and make our company and journalism even stronger.

If you own the title, then I guess you're allowed to intervene
Former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil

The Bancrofts had been deeply divided over whether to sell the Dow Jones, which includes the flagship business newspaper Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

They were concerned that Mr Murdoch's aggressive management style would interfere with the editorial integrity of the newspaper.

Under the terms of the deal, a five-member special committee will be established to assure the journalistic and editorial integrity and independence of Dow Jones' publications and services, including the WSJ.

'Interventionist proprietor'

Andrew Neil, a former editor of the News Corporation-owned Sunday Times, told BBC Radio Five Live that Mr Murdoch was a hands-on proprietor.

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"He tries to pick like-minded editors, editors who share, broadly share his world view of things," said Mr Neil.

"But when there is something he feels strongly about or when some of his business interests are at stake, he leaves you in no doubt what he wants you to do.

"He is an, I wouldn't say interfering, I would say he's an interventionist proprietor when he wants to be, but I guess, you know, if you own the title, then I guess you're allowed to intervene."

News Corporation already owns 100 other newspapers worldwide, as well as television stations and film studios and the purchase of the Dow Jones will add to his growing media empire.

Its bid for Dow Jones was first announced in May.


SEE ALSO
Q&A: Dow Jones takeover
31 Jul 07 |  Business
Bancrofts discuss Dow Jones sale
23 Jul 07 |  Business
Dow Jones director quits over bid
19 Jul 07 |  Business
Dow Jones board backs News Corp
18 Jul 07 |  Business

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