OLD Media Moves

Dow Jones indexes could be sold for $700 million

February 1, 2010

Jeffrey McCracken of The Wall Street Journal reports that Dow Jones & Co. — which owns the Journal — could be selling its index business that operates the Dow Jones Industrial Average to CME Group for $700 million.

McCracken writes, “The two sides had hoped to announce a deal in the past week. The latest haggling has made a transaction less certain, said these people.

“That could present an opening for market-index firm MSCI Inc., which has also been in discussions for months with Dow Jones and its owner, News Corp. Dow Jones is the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

“Dow Jones has for months been negotiating to sell the unit, which manages the flagship Dow Jones Industrial Average. A purchase would be a new step for the CME, which operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and has a strong position in commodities, futures and options trading.

“MSCI has in recent weeks shifted its attention to acquiring RiskMetrics Group Inc. the risk-analysis and investment-research firm, said these people. MSCI’s interest in RiskMetrics then prompted MSCI to hire an investment bank to weigh other offers. Various media groups and private-equity funds are pondering bids for RiskMetrics, said people familiar with the discussions.”

Read more here.

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