Media Moves

If spurned by Dow Jones, will Murdoch go after Pearson?

May 21, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Hilary Kramer writes on the BloggingStocks.com web site that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch may set his sites on Pearson, the parent company of The Financial Times, if he is unable to buy Dow Jones, the parent of The Wall Street Journal.

Hilary KramerKramer wrote, “Rumor has it that the impressive and highly respected head of Pearson, Marjorie Scardino, has always insisted that the Financial Times isn’t for sale. But if Murdoch indeed buys the WSJ, she might be tempted to sell the FT after all. When Murdoch promises to beat the competition, he often succeeds. The share price of Pearson has wavered on fears of what will happen to the Financial Times should the WSJ change hands.

“But what happens if the Bancrofts continue to deny Murdoch’s advances? Think back to high school, when the jock gets turned down by the pretty girl when he asks her to go to the prom. He certainly doesn’t cry over his losses — instead, he seeks revenge by asking the girl’s rival. Rumor is swirling among inside circles that Murdoch might go after the FT. And this might be simply terrific for Pearson.

“Of course, much of this is speculative and there are other issues at stake. Murdoch owns other media enterprises in the UK that could make a purchase somewhat complicated and cumbersome. But I’ve always liked Pearson as a company. It is a solid company, I respect the CEO, and it is dipping right now due to concerns about market competition. Need more? PSO offers a solid yearly dividend, and the No Child Left Behind act has bolstered its education division.”

Read more here.

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