Burkle may bid for Dow Jones

Supermarket magnate schedules meeting

Dow Jones may finally have another bidder besides Rupert Murdoch, as supermarket magnate Ron Burkle is scheduled to meet with the Dow Jones board on Monday.

Some dismissed the meeting as being of little consequence, since it was unlikely Burkle or his Yucaipa Companies would be willing to match News Corp. $5 billion for the company.

But news of the meeting suggested that parties opposed to the bid were continuing to explore their options.

It also suggested that, contrary to reports from the U.K. Friday, the News Corp. bid had yet to be accepted.

In fact, several reports now say that the two sides have not begun to discuss price, though they are well into the financial-oversight phase known as due diligence.

A number of older members of Dow Jones’ controlling Bancroft family, as well as the union repping 2000 Dow Jones employees, have opposed the sale to News Corp. out of concern for the Wall Street Journal’s editorial integrity.

Burkle and Yucaipa had previously been involved in bids for the Tribune Company as well as a number of Knight Ridder papers.

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