OLD Media Moves

Bancroft family lawyers could sway vote

July 2, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Matthew Karnitschnig of The Wall Street Journal writes Monday about a group of Boston lawyers who oversee the Bancroft family trusts and could influence the vote that determines whether the family, which controls Dow Jones & Co., sells to News Corp.

Wall Street JournalKarnitschnig wrote, “Lawyers from Hemenway & Barnes sit at the center of dozens of overlapping trusts that hold power over most of the Bancrofts’ 64% voting stake in the company (see a breakdown). Those lawyers occupy two of the three trustee seats on a number of key trusts, with the third held by a family member. On one of the biggest trusts, lawyers from the firm are the only trustees. And the fact that the large Bancroft clan is divided over whether to sell further deepens the firm’s influence.

“‘The vote really resides with them,’ says one family member who is leaning in favor of selling the company.

“Hemenway & Barnes’s involvement could make approval of the deal swift if negotiators for Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp. and Dow Jones agree on price. Even with 35 adult Bancroft family members still squabbling over whether to sell, less than half of the family’s shares would likely be required to win approval for a deal.”

Read more here.

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