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NWS-DJ: DJ Statement: Board, Not Family, Will Take Lead With News Corp. From Here Out

A major switch in the way the possible acquisition of Dow Jones by News Media is being handled … For the past few weeks the Bancroft family has taken the lead in dealing with Rupert Murdoch, resulting in a stall, but the lead role now will be played by the DJ board of directors. From the statement issued after the market close today: “Dow Jones & Company (NYSE:DJ) announced today that its Board of Directors and representatives of the Bancroft family have concluded that the best way to continue to evaluate the News Corporation proposal to acquire the Company would be for the Board of Directors to take the lead in addressing all aspects of the proposal and all other strategic alternatives, including remaining independent.” The board will handle discussions from here out and “will oversee the exploration of strategic alternatives. … Any acquisition will require the approval of the Board of Directors and shareholders owning a majority of the Company’s voting power. There can be no assurance that any transaction or other corporate action will result from the foregoing or that the Board of Directors or the members of the Bancroft family will support any specific proposal.”

The Bancroft family — a majority without whom a deal cannot go through — “reiterated that any transaction must include appropriate provisions with respect to journalistic and editorial independence and integrity.”

WSJ: “In recent weeks the family’s negotiations with each other and their advisors continued with no resolution in sight, the company’s directors were growing increasingly concerned that by not responding to Mr. Murdoch, the family was endangering the negotiations.”