Bancrofts push for higher price


NEW YORK -- A key branch of the Bancroft family that controls Dow Jones & Co. on Friday made a last-minute push to get Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to boost its proposed takeover price.

Dow Jones flagship The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Friday that the Bancroft family branch plans to vote against the media conglomerate's $5 billion bid, even though it supports a sale. The Journal, citing a person familiar with the situation, said the branch, which controls a 9.1% voting stake in Dow Jones, wants News Corp. to raise its $60 per share bid.

News Corp. representatives have signaled several times that the company has no plans to increase the price tag on its offer.

A spokesman for the Bancroft family had no comment. Dow Jones and News Corp. officials weren't immediately available for comment.

Dow Jones shares declined Friday after the news. The stock has been stuck in the low $50 range, with Wall Street observers citing investor concerns that the News Corp. deal could be voted down by the Bancrofts, which many expect would make the stock fall back into the $30 range.