Reuters managed to snag
a quick interview with Rupert Murdoch in Warsaw, of all
places, where he’s meeting the prime minister (natch) and relaunching a television
station. "Everything is done. We are just waiting for a final approval
of the Bancroft family," Murdoch said – and given the twists and
turns this bid has been through, I’m inclined to believe that when Rupert says
everything is done, then everything is, indeed, done. The interview cleared
up all the other key questions, too:
"The final approval is in the next two, three week’s time or not at
all," he said.
Asked if his company, News Corp., planned to raise its bid, Murdoch said:
Given all the fuss that the Bancroft family has made over the issue of editorial
independence, I can’t see how they’re going to be able to ask for more money
to boot – especially with no interest in Dow Jones from anybody other
than News Corp.
Karnitschnig of the WSJ says that a large chunk of the family’s votes already
seems to be sewn up:
Some in the family believe that Denver law firm Holme Roberts & Owen
LLP, which oversees trusts with 8.9% of the overall voting power, will vote
in favor of a deal. If that holds true, Mr. Elefante would need to deliver
less than half of the family’s remaining vote to guarantee a sale.
With no reports of hardened opposition to the deal within the Bancroft family,
it’s hard to see them blocking a deal now.