The chief executive of Gannett Co., said he is interested in acquiring other big newspapers, including the Financial Times and Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, according to a report the latest Barron’s.
“IF THE PEARSON GROUP wanted to sell the Financial Times, I’d look at it very closely,” Douglas McCorkindale said in the Dec. 1 issue of the weekly financial newspaper. “Dow Jones (which publishes The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s) is a great franchise, and if it ever came into play, I’d be very interested.”
Gannett publishes USA Today and 100 other U.S. newspapers, operates 22 television stations, owns several British publications and has 700 non-daily publications. Its stock market value is about $23 billion, the report said.
A spokeswoman for Dow Jones, with a market capitalization of about $4.1 billion, said the company and the family that controls it don’t intend to submit to a takeover.
“From time to time over the years, there have been merger or acquisition inquiries from other companies,” said Dow Jones spokeswoman Brigitte Trafford. “The Bancroft family and the board have always reaffirmed the company’s intention to remain an independent company.”
The Bancroft family, heirs of early owner Clarence Barron, hold about 38 percent of Dow Jones and control 65 percent of the voting power, according to Hoovers, the financial information provider.
Officials at Pearson Plc, based in London, were not immediately available for comment.
A Gannett spokeswoman said McCorkindale’s comments were consistent with the company’s acquisition policy.
“He says consistently and repeatedly that he would look any good property that came onto the market,” she said.
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