Rupert Murdoch has sealed a deal to buy Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. for US$5 billion (EUR 3.65 billion), ending a century of family ownership and adding a new crown jewel to his global media empire, News Corp.
The companies said Wednesday that they have signed a definitive merger agreement after the deal won sufficient support to pass from a deeply divided Bancroft family, which has controlled the newspaper publisher for generations.
Murdoch is getting one of the great trophies of U.S. journalism and a newspaper that is considered required daily reading among the business and power elite.
The deal will also expand Murdoch's already massive global media and entertainment empire News Corp., which owns the Fox broadcast network, Fox News Channel, the Twentieth Century Fox movie and TV studio, MySpace, newspapers in Australia and Britain, and several satellite TV broadcasters.
Dow Jones and News Corp. said in a statement that Bancroft family members and trustees representing 37 percent of the company's shareholder vote have agreed to support the deal.
Combined with the 29 percent of the vote held by public shareholders, who are very likely to support Murdoch, the deal is now assured of passing.