Late Proposal May Help Seal Murdoch-Dow Jones Deal
July 31, 2007 at 10:31 AM (PT)
A late-night proposal that offered payment of advisory fees for members of the controlling BANCROFT family has apparently resulted in convincing the controlling BANCROFT FAMILY's DENVER trusts to change their votes to yes and approve the sale of DOW JONES to NEWS CORP.
The WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that after a 5p deadline for voting agreements came and went, DOW JONES proposed that the company establish a $30 million fund to cover the costs of advisors to the BANCROFTS, a fund for which RUPERT MURDOCH's NEWS CORP. would assume responsibility upon closing of the deal. The unusual fund would be paid to the BANCROFTS only if one of two holdouts -- CHRISTOPHER BANCROFT or the DENVER trusts -- agrees to the sale. A report appearing at the JOURNAL Web site midday TUESDAY indicates that the DENVER trusts have decided to accept the deal, although it is unclear whether all of its votes will be switched to positive.
The move would give MURDOCH the cushion he was seeking before taking the deal to a vote of all shareholders. Both NEWS CORP. and DOW JONES have board meetings scheduled for late TUESDAY to decide on the companies' next steps.