News Corp. bid for Dow Jones on brink as deadline passes

NEW YORK, July 30, 2007 (AFP) – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. late Monday awaited a decision from the family that controls Dow Jones & Co. on its five-billion-dollar offer for the company and its crown asset, The Wall Street Journal. A reported deadline for members of the Bancroft family — which controls 64 percent of Dow Jones’s voting power — to voice their agreement to the deal came and went with no public announcement.

As the clock ticked, News Corp. said it was “highly unlikely” it would proceed with its 60-dollar-a-share offer for Dow Jones at the reported present level of support of the controlling Bancroft family.

“If the votes were to remain at present reported levels, it is highly unlikely that we would proceed the offer,” a News Corp. spokesperson, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

In its online edition late Monday, the Journal said some Bancroft family advisers and Dow Jones board members “scrambled for enough votes to ensure the sale of the publisher to News Corp.”

“Everyone is sticking to their guns in the hope that Murdoch will come up with more money,” one person involved in the process was quoted as saying.

News Corp. has scheduled a board meeting Tuesday at 4:00 pm (2000 GMT) “and a decis