Rupert Murdoch''s News Corp and business newswire Dow Jones & Co. have
refuted media reports that the two sides have successfully completed their talks
and have reached an agreement.
Business, a London-based magazine had reported that Dow Jones had accepted
Murdoch''s original $5 billion, $60-a-share offer and that a deal was expected
to be announced next week, citing unnamed sources acting for the Dow Jones board.
had said on its web site that sources acting for the Dow Jones board said that
negotiations on the deal have been completed and that the board is confident it
will be accepted by the Bancrofts, over the next few days.
Jones and News Corp. have been engaged in due diligence for more than a week.
People on both sides of the negotiations say the process has been smooth, with
an agreement on price possible soon, according to the report.
report, written by Andrew Neil, a former Murdoch lieutenant and the chief executive
of Press Holdings Media Group, which owns The Business, said that the deal
was delayed until agreement was reached on a legally enforceable undertaking by
Murdoch to "preserve The Wall Street Journal''s editorial independence."
News Corp. spokesman said "the company is unaware of the truth or otherwise
of the report in the British magazine."
were expecting a sweetened offer from Murdoch to clinch a deal. Dow Jones said
the report about an agreement in principle was incorrect.
is no change in the status of the discussions currently underway," a spokesman
for the Bancroft family said. "News Corp. is continuing to conduct due diligence
and the negotiations are not complete."
quoting a media report on Sunday, MarketWatch, owned by The Wall Street
Journal, the flagship of Dow Jones, reported that even as negotiations with
News Corp. move closer to an overall agreement, Dow Jones is making one last effort
to find other possible buyers for itself.
to the report, the board committee that has been examining Rupert Murdoch''s is
scheduled to meet today with California supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, who has
expressed interest in teaming with Dow Jones''s union to find alternatives to News
is unclear what Burkle may propose, says MarketWatc, quoting WSJ, but he
has been exploring a structure for Dow Jones that would incorporate an employee
Jones owns the The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch, the publisher
of this report, among other media properties.
has made an unsolicited $5 billion offer to buy the publisher of The Wall Street
Journal newspaper. The offer valued Dow Jones at a 65 per cent premium to
its stock price before the bid was disclosed publicly in May.
deal for Dow Jones and the The Wall Street Journal, viewed as one of the
world''s most reputable newspapers, would help anchor News Corp''s soon-to-be-launched
Fox Business Channel, a cable news network rival to General Electric''s CNBC.
three dozen Bancroft family members control Dow Jones through a combined ownership
of 64 per cent of voting shares.