Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Murdoch Seeks Dow Jones

Harpercollins owner News Corp has made an unsolicited bid for Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones (Reuters). The bid is priced at $60/share and Jim Cramer (crazy guy) on CNBC (which broke the story) suggests that this may jump higher if others get involved. Currently the offer price is 50% higher than yesterdays share price close so News is going for broke. This deal has been on the cards for years; however, Cramer noted today that the two or three executives and board members opposed to the deal are no longer part of the organization. He also speculates that members of the Bancroft family are already in his camp which could make approval of the acqusition easier.

Others may jump at the opportunity to own a prime name in financial reporting but so far Bloomberg for one has issued a denial. It would be a stretch to see Thomson Financial anti-up for the property because their entire focus is on electronic delivery. Thomson sold the bulk of its newspapers years ago. Private equity could be an option as well. Cramer also frequently mentioned his audience with the Digger back in 1996 when Murdoch was willing to offer $73/share for the company but was rebuffed. What discouraged Murdoch the last time was the suggestion that the Bancrofts would not approve the deal but this time that doesn't seem to be the case.

Reuters: Pearson shares up 5%
Predictions 2007: Noted at the bottom of the page.

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