Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pearson, GE and Dow Jones

While Pearson has not admitted engaging in any discussions there is much too much noise about this possible deal for nothing to be going on. The Independent has an article this morning which examines how the deal may be done that enables Pearson to retain earnings growth and return rates that they have promised shareholders.
So Pearson has been casting about for a partner, with the latest mooted structure being a joint bid with GE, the outcome of which would be a joint venture where the two own equal shares of 40-45 per cent and the Bancroft family retain a stake of 10-20 per cent. GE would put CNBC into the joint venture, Pearson would put in the FT and possibly some of the other assets from the FT Group, which also owns The Economist and a host of specialist financial magazines and databases. One or both would also have to contribute some cash so that the Bancrofts and Dow Jones' other shareholders could get something close to Mr Murdoch's $60-a-share for their holdings.

The odds are still with NewCorp but it looks like being a far more interesting process than it looked two weeks ago.

UPDATE: Bloomberg

GE and Pearson have dropped their discussions on a potential bid for Dow Jones. The odds are even more in favor of News Corps bid and the market agrees. The stock price for DJ has settled at the offer price.

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