If you've been following the ongoing saga of Rupert Murdoch's bid to purchase Dow Jones--and really, how could you not!--then you know that Murdoch and the Bancroft family remain locked in a Beckettian courtship-slash-staring contest that may, in fact, never, ever end.
That's not to say that third parties haven't done their best to try to bring this matter to a conclusion. Yesterday, representatives of T. Rowe Price, the Dow's largest outside shareholder, offered something of a nudge to the Bancrofts, urging them to take the deal.
T. Rowe's Brian Rogers told the Financial Times, "The offer to purchase Dow Jones at $60 in our view represents a fairly attractive transaction price...I find it hard to believe the company itself has a plan to get the shares to $60," adding, "My hunch is that Murdoch would probably pay more than $60 to seal the deal."
Interestingly, the notion that Murdoch might eventually up the ante dovetails with a report from WSJ's "Deal Journal," which cited a research report from Citigroup that stated "the odds that News's offer is raised to $65 and accepted is 65%."
Whether or not T. Rowe Price is successful at influencing either Murdoch or the Bancrofts remains to be seen. In Roger's opinion, "There might be other buyers more palatable to them. But who's to say Rupert Murdoch is all that bad?"
Who's to say? Gee, Brian, lots of people, actually. Most recently, Matt Pottinger, a former WSJ reporter now serving in Iraq with the Marines, who penned an open letter for the Washington Post that cuts to the root of Murdoch's operations in China (and overall, serving as a more convincing substitute for Jack Shafer's "Eight More Reasons to Distrust Rupert Murdoch").
In other news, according to the calendar of the ancient Mayans, the world is expected to end on December 21, 2012. Well, here's hoping!