Murdoch’s Dow move may spur bidding war

Marketplace Staff May 2, 2007
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Murdoch’s Dow move may spur bidding war

Marketplace Staff May 2, 2007
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS:

Rupert Murdoch really wants to buy the Dow Jones, which owns the Wall Street Journal. His desire for the company isn’t new — but everyone was surprised by his bid of $5 billion yesterday.

The offer was about 67 percent higher than the market value. However, media consultant John Morton says it wasn’t nearly high enough.

JOHN MORTON:I think it’s worth a lot more than that — the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have the two strongest and most valuable newspaper franchises in the world. The company is worth far more than a 65 percent premium over the market price. When Tribune took over Times-Mirror, the premium was closer to 90 percent.

THOMAS:The Bancroft family owns Dow Jones and holds over 64 percent of the voting power. Yesterday, they rejected the offer. But Morton says other companies might want to make bids of their own, thus raising the price.

MORTON:If there were some kind of a bidding war, or if the Bancrofts miraculously decided to invite one, I think you would see the price go much higher than that.

THOMAS:There’s been speculation that the timing of Murdoch’s interest in Dow Jones is based on his plans to launch a financial cable network this year.

Not surprisingly Murdoch’s offer sent Dow Jones stock up like a shot, rising more than 54 percent.

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