OLD Media Moves

Some traders believe Dow Jones bid will be raised

May 14, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Dan Dorfman of the New York Sun wrote Monday that there’s talk among traders that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will raise his bid for Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, leading to its stock increase on Friday.

Dan DorfmanDorfman wrote, “If anything, Friday’s action re-enforced the view in some Street quarters that the top brass and staffers at the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s will eventually collect their paychecks from Mr. Murdoch, the Australian press baron.

“One of Wall Street’s leading publishing analysts, Prudential Financial’s Steven Barlow, sees it this way: ‘I believe the deal will go through because Mr. Murdoch isn’t trying to steal the company; he’s patient and offering a reasonable price.’ The analyst also says he thinks the board has a fiduciary responsibility to endorse the offer because he says he can’t imagine anyone else who would pay $60 a share and create an auction.

“Mr. Murdoch, who didn’t respond to calls seeking comment, has given no indication to date he would fatten his offer. However, one money manager with an investment firm that holds a hefty Dow Jones stake tells me a News Corp. contact at a high level suggested to him not to rule out a higher offer. Partially as a result of this, his firm, which did some selling after Mr. Murdoch’s announced bid, eased up on the selling, the manager says.”

Read more here. Murdoch did imply on a News Corp. conference call last week that his current $60-a-share bid for Dow Jones would not be raised.

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