Dow Jones & Co. (NYSE: DJ) denied on Friday that it has come to an agreement with News Corp. to sell itself, rebuffing published reports that it accepted News Corp's $5 billion takeover bid.
A London financial magazine, The Business, said that Dow Jones completed talks with its suitor and may announce the agreement within days, citing sources familiar with the matter.
An article published on [The Business's Web site] this morning stating that an agreement in principle has been reached for the sale of Dow Jones & Company to News Corp. is incorrect, Dow Jones said in a news release.
Both companies had previously reached an agreement on editorial independence for Dow Jonesâ€™ various publications.
In May, News Corp. made an unsolicited offer to buy Dow Jones for $5 billion, or $60 a share.
The price represented a 65 percent premium to the company's stock price at the time before the announcement, however the had bid faced criticism from a number of Dow controllers, including the Bancroft family, which controls 64 percent of the company. The key concern was that editorial integrity would be compromised if the company went into the hands of News Corp.
News Corp. and the Dow Jones board last week reached a tentative agreement on creating an independent board to oversee the editorial operations of the Journal and other Dow Jones controlled entities.
Rupert Murdoch, the Australian media tycoon who heads News Corp. made a similar offer to Thomson Corp. in 1981, convincing them to see him the Times of London with the promise of editorial independence.
The Bancroft family is still reviewing the proposal.