Murdoch's News Corp. Bid for Dow Jones Rejected

The family that controls the company said it would oppose the deal.

ByABC News
February 9, 2009, 4:58 PM

May 1, 2007 — -- Just hours after Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. made an unsolicited offer Tuesday to buy Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, the family that controls Dow Jones announced that it had rejected the bid.

The Bancroft family controls a little more than 50 percent of the votes at Dow Jones and announced after the stock market closed that it would reject the proposed bid.

The family did not comment on whether or not it would accept any other offer -- from Murdoch or somebody else. The family said only that it was rejecting the current bid.

Throughout the day, the possible sale of the nation's second-largest newspaper worried some.

News Corp. owns Fox News, the New York Post, TV Guide, MySpace and numerous other media outlets along with movie company 20th Century Fox.

The company offered to buy all outstanding Dow Jones stock for $60 a share -- or about $5 billion.

The proposed sale price is significantly higher than the market value of Dow Jones before the offer was made public.

Shares of the media company opened Tuesday morning at $37.12 and jumped to just above $57.28 before trading was temporarily halted. It closed at $56.20. The company had traded between $32 and $40 a share over the last year.

The move comes just as News Corp. is gearing up to launch its own cable business channel this fall, which is expected to compete head-to-head with CNBC.

"This is the greatest newspaper in America," Murdoch said Tuesday afternoon on his Fox News Channel. "It needs to be part of a bigger organization to be taken further."

Murdoch has long eyed Dow Jones and said he hopes to find millions of new readers around the world online. He said financial news is one of the few news items that companies can charge for.

Talking about his cable business network in February, Murdoch said he "long considered the business television market to be underserved."

Fox Business Channel will start with at least 30 million subscribers after getting distribution deals with Time Warner, Comcast, Charter and DirecTV.

One major stumbling block might be the contract CNBC has until 2012 with The Wall Street Journal to have its reporters appear on the competing cable business network.