Denver Bancrofts Set to Vote Against Murdoch Offer

Earlier this week, both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times dubbed the Bancroft family’s upcoming decision whether or not to accept a $5 billion bid from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for Dow Jones as “too close to call.”

Therefore, Dow Jones-watchers will read each major shareholder decision—which will inevitably start trickling out—like tea leaves. 

Denver law firm Holme Roberts & Owen, which controls about 9.1% of voting stock, and had once been viewed as pro-deal, are now planning to turn down the News Corp. offer, according to the Journal.

The Denver trust has been one of the most closely watched among Dow Jones management and News Corp. executives, according to people familiar with the matter. The Bancroft family is divided about whether to accept the offer, with some prominent members arguing strongly against the deal while others are in favor. The outcome has been seen as too close to call, although the Denver trust's decision increases doubts about the deal's prospects.

The Journal reported two days ago that lead trustee Lynn Hendrix argued in Monday’s Boston Hilton meeting that super-share holders were entitled to a premium above Mr. Murdoch’s $60-a-share offer—say $66 or $72.

And why is a Denver firm possibly deciding the fate of who owns the Wall Street Journal?

Well, according to The Denver Post:

The firm manages the shares held in trust for the children of the late Hugh Bancroft Jr., an heir to the Dow Jones empire. The mother of three of those children is the late Jacqueline Spencer Morgan, a Denver native.