Christopher Bancroft, part of the family that controls Dow Jones, is trying to block a takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., a source familiar with the situation said on Monday, confirming a story reported in the Wall Street Journal.
Bancroft has recently approached hedge funds and private equity firms, hoping to buy enough voting shares of Dow Jones to give him the power to thwart a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site, citing people familiar with the matter.
Bancroft is trying to buy more supervoting shares from other Bancroft heirs who may be ready to sell their stakes but share his distaste for handing the family legacy to Murdoch, the Journal said.
News Corp., owner of Fox News, the New York Post and a sprawling global media empire, has offered $5 billion, or $60 a share, for Dow Jones, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal.
Due diligence between News Corp. and Dow Jones is winding down, and people close to both sides say the process is basically finished, the Wall Street Journal reported, although it said a substantive discussion of price hasn't happened.
That could change on Monday when Murdoch and Dow Jones Chief Executive Richard Zannino sit down for lunch to discuss price and other terms, the Wall Street Journal reported. Murdoch hasn't shown any interest in raising his bid, the paper added.
The Financial Times also reported that News Corp will meet Dow Jones directors this week, adding that the meeting will include News Corp representatives and a special group of Dow Jones directors, and is expected to focus on price and other outstanding issues.
Bancroft, his two siblings, his niece and their children are beneficiaries of trusts that control about one-third of the Bancrofts' stake in Dow Jones.
The Bancroft family controls 64 percent of the company's voting power.
Christopher Bancroft is one of three family members on the Dow Jones board. He did not return a message seeking comment. Dow Jones and News Corp were not immediately available for comment.