Blog Post

DJ Ripe For Picking?

As my mother might say, take the needle out of your arm. A sale or buyout bid isn’t completely impossible — we never say never here at paidContent — but is it likely? Business Week is the latest to float the “Dow Jones could be bought or sold” balloon, hanging the report on the complaints of an anonymous “major New York investor” with no explanation why the investor demanded anonymity or was granted it. The investor thinks management should be shaken up because it “overpaid” for MarketWatch instead of using the money to reward shareholders or buy back stock.
No question — the company is not having the greatest run, between sinking share values, downgrades and underperforming. Others point to the too-low $3-billion market cap that could make Dow Jones a target for a larger company and the possibility the younger generation of the Bancroft family could demand a sale. A Bancroft trustee says it’s not for sale. Again, it could happen, particularly if private equity firms with enough money stir up the right people …
Look for a change at the very top, a split of the chairman and ceo titles with a new non-exec chair, if the board wants to send a signal. It’s bought other companies with unhappy investors some time. (See Eisner, Michael.)