And you thought the editorial page was conservative before....
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation media empire has made an unsolicited takeover bid for Dow Jones & Co., which publishes the Wall Street Journal.
The bid, first reported this morning by CNBC and confirmed by Dow Jones, is a cash offer of $60 per share, a premium of nearly twice the stock's trading value. Dow Jones stock, which closed yesterday at $36.33 per share, shot up to more than $57 in late-morning trading. With 63 million shares of Dow Jones stock outstanding, Murdoch's bid would be worth at least $3.8 billion.
The News Corp. bid came two weeks ago in a letter to Dow Jones's board, the company said in a statement. Like The Washington Post Co. and the New York Times Co., Dow Jones has a dual-class ownership structure that allows the Bancroft family, longtime owners, to control the company while holding a minority of the stock. News Corp. has offered to buy all outstanding shares of Dow Jones's common stock.
Steve Yount, president of the union and representing 2,000 reporters and other employees at Dow Jones, called ownership by Murdoch "a disaster," particularly for The Wall Street Journal.
"This is a premier publication and everything that News Corp. brings to the table runs the risk of tarnishing that reputation," said Yount.