Dow Jones to Vote on Murdoch Bid

A tentative agreement has been reached, but it still needs approval from the Bancroft family.
Publish date:

Updated from 10:34 a.m. EDT

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

has reached a tentative agreement to buy

Dow Jones


, the publisher of

The Wall Street Journal

, for $5 billion, or $60 a share.

The online version of the


reported late Monday that a deal in principle was reached earlier in the day and will be put to the Dow Jones board for its approval on Tuesday evening.

A source familiar with the situation confirmed to

that a tentative agreement has been reached and is set for a vote.

Shares of Dow Jones, which also publishes


, recently were down 36 cents, or 0.6%, to $56.59. The stock was stagnating for more than a year below $40 at the time of News Corp.'s offer, which was made public May 1.

The merger still would require approval from the Bancroft family, which controls nearly two-thirds of Dow Jones' voting shares. The


reported that Dow Jones CEO Richard Zannino has told News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch that the family's position is too close to call.

A spokesman for the Bancroft family declined to comment on the talks. A spokesman for News Corp. also declined to comment, and a Dow Jones representative couldn't be reached.

While some members of the Bancroft family have been willing to deal with Murdoch, another family faction has maintained its hesitancy over what would become of a Murdoch-controlled

Wall Street Journal


In late June, an agreement over "editorial protections" was reached between the two companies, but that transaction too needs the Bancrofts' approval.

Other key Bancroft family opponents have taken it upon themselves to speedily find alternatives to the News Corp. deal, including approaching private-equity firms and holding buyout talks with supermarket mogul Ron Burkle.