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WSJ: Murdoch wins enough votes to secure deal for Dow Jones

Oklahoman Modified: August 1, 2007 at 12:22 am •  Published: August 1, 2007
NEW YORK (AP) - Rupert Murdoch's bid for Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. appears to have won enough support from the company's controlling shareholders to ensure its passage, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

The Journal reported that a key family trust has reversed its position and decided to support the deal. That likely means Bancroft family members and trusts holding about 38 percent of the total vote are in favor of the takeover by Murdoch's News Corp.

However, a spokesman for the family said that the polling process among Bancroft family members and their trustees was continuing, and that it was premature to conclude that a specific level of support had been reached. The Bancroft family controls a total of 64 percent of the company's shareholder vote through a complex series of trusts.

The vast majority of the 29 percent vote held by public shareholders is expected to approve the deal, but Murdoch's media conglomerate wants to ensure a comfortable margin for passage in the likely event some public shareholders don't vote.

News Corp. has said it would only proceed if it felt there was enough support among the Bancrofts, but it hasn't specified what that level is. A News Corp. spokesman said Monday that the company was "highly unlikely" to proceed with the deal if support from the family remained at the level reported at that time _ about 29 percent.

News Corp.'s board was scheduled to meet Monday at 4 p.m. ET, and Dow Jones directors were set to meet Tuesday evening.

Dow Jones shares rose sharply Tuesday on hopes that a deal was close, and were getting closer to Murdoch's offering price of $60 a share, indicating growing confidence the deal will go through. In afternoon trading, Dow Jones stock rose $6.02, or 11.7 percent to $57.58.

Members of the Bancroft family, which has controlled Dow Jones for a century, had a 5 p.m.

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