Time's up for warring Bancrofts
David Litterick of The Telegraph newspaper in London writes that the Bancroft family that controls Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, is still as divided as ever about selling the company to News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, but relieved about handling the negotiations, which will now be done by the board.
Litterick wrote, “The board finally grew tired of the family’s increased reluctance to press ahead. Feeling that its position had been strengthened by interest from other parties, and fearful of its own legal liability to other shareholders should a deal fall through, it moved to take control of the negotiations itself.
“Some in the family are reported to be relieved that the intense pressure has been lifted from their shoulders without taking from them the final say on any deal. The sense was growing that it may be impossible for them ever to reconcile their divergent views and reach a consensus.
“Opinions range from those of Martha Robes, who has reportedly told other family members that she won’t be in the same room as Mr Murdoch, to those of William Cox III, who has been a vocal dissident in the past and is understood to have been a key player in pressing the family to consider News Corp’s offer.”
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