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Dow Jones Deal Still a Shaky Prospect

"Plenty of deals do get done on that basis," says Davidoff. "It's not the best practice for the company to not say what the vote was and who abstained from it and otherwise. They should have done that, but there's no requirement that they do that at this point."

With the board coming out in support of a deal, the negotiations shift back to the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones through a Web of trusts that owns super-voting shares laying claim to 64% of the company's voting rights.

Initially, the Bancrofts declined to consider Murdoch's $60-a-share offer, which offered a 67% premium to Dow Jones stock price before it was announced. The family reversed course and agreed to consider a sale in response to the dire outlook for Dow Jones as a stand-alone company.

Despite a lengthy negotiation, Dow Jones has failed to squeeze any more premium out of News Corp., and it has yet to receive an offer from another buyer that is viewed as a credible alternative. Internet entrepreneur Brad Greenspan and supermarket magnate Ron Burkle have worked on an alternative bid with Christopher Bancroft, but it's unclear whether they're gaining any traction.

A Bancroft family spokesman, Roy Winnick, says members of the family will be presented with the News Corp. offer on Monday.

"They will then be asked over the following several days to decide and indicate whether they want to support the deal," says Winnick.
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