Murdoch’s interest in the WSJ dates back at least 10 years according to this just-filed piece by Jim Cramer:
It’s about time. Finally, Rupert Murdoch makes the bid, a $60-a-share bid for Dow Jones (DJ – Cramer’s Take – Stockpickr – Rating). About 10 years ago, Murdoch called me in and said he wanted to buy Dow Jones. He felt that franchise couldn’t be independent much longer, and he wasn’t going to let anyone buy it.
He wanted to know — because I had bought a 4% stake to try to force changes — whether he could approach board members and try to take the company over. The stock was in the low $40s then. I suggested he pay $73. (This is all in Confessions of a Street Addict, by the way.) I also reminded him that the family still controlled it, and they would never sell.
The stock has been a dog ever since. Mind you, this is more than 10 years ago! So the $60-a-share bid is a good opener. Of course, the initial reaction from the family may be a simple no, and they don’t have to sell.
But given the incredible underperformance and the possibility of it being permanent, maybe this time it will happen.
The WSJ also has a piece up about the deal.
Meanwhile, get ready for a lot of howling from left-wing activists, who despise Murdoch and Fox News and will probably try to talk Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Maurice Hinchey — who are already on the warpath against media concentration, Fox News and conservative talk radio — into somehow blocking the deal.