A key member of the family that controls Dow Jones & Co. opposes a $5 billion bid by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., fearing the sale would endanger the Wall Street Journal’s independence, the paper reported on its Web site on Thursday.
“I’m open to any situation that benefits The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones and its shareholders. At the moment, I don’t see anything that would do that,” the Journal quoted Christopher Bancroft as saying.
He is a Dow Jones director and, along with two siblings, controls about one-third of the Bancroft family’s stake in Dow Jones, the paper said.
Most of the Bancroft family, which controls the company with a class of super-voting shares, oppose Murdoch’s $60 per share offer. Dow Jones’s board has said as a result that it would not consider Murdoch’s offer.
Murdoch has said in published reports that he wants to meet the Bancrofts as well as employees at the Wall Street Journal.
Bancroft family members met in Boston on Wednesday, partly at the behest of one branch of the family, the Hills, the Journal said, citing unnamed sources.
Several key members of the family didn’t attend, including Christopher Bancroft, the paper said.
A lawyer for the Bancroft family could not immediately be reached for comment.