Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. said it is ``highly unlikely'' to proceed with a $5 billion bid for Dow Jones & Co. without more support from the publisher's controlling Bancroft family. Dow Jones shares fell 5.3 percent.
The reported number of votes in favor of the deal isn't enough, a News Corp. spokesman, who declined to be identified, said in an interview. Murdoch needs support from family members holding about 30 percent of the voting stock and had almost 28 percent as of yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
Bancroft family members have until 5 p.m. to decide on the offer, a person with knowledge of the process said. The family, which controls 64 percent of Dow Jones's voting shares, are split about selling to News Corp. The deadline, set by family trustee Michael Elefante, follows three months of debate among the family and Dow Jones's board over whether Murdoch would try to influence editorial content at the Journal.