Key Bancroft Now Opposes Dow Jones Deal; Greenspan Offer Still on the Table

One previously undecided member of the Bancroft family, who votes about 15 percent of Dow Jones shares, has come out against a deal to sell the company to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., The Wall Street Journal reports.

Jane Cox MacElree, whose daughter, Leslie Hill, brought Brad Greenspan and Ron Burkle's counterproposal before the board of directors of the company, is said to have stated her position during family meetings begun in Boston yesterday.

Her brother, William Cox Jr., has also been reported to oppose the sale, as has Christopher Bancroft. But the position of his two siblings, also voters, was unclear.

Elizabeth Steele and Michael Elefante spoke in favor of the deal in yesterday's meetings. But it has not been reported whether Ms. Steele's two sisters, also support a News Corp. deal.

Reports from the meeting also indicated that Ms. Hill has been able to keep the Greenspan offer on the table. Mr. Greenspan is the founder of MySpace, which was bought by News Corp. in July 2005. Mr. Greenspan has attempted to file suit against News Corp. for undervaluing the site during the purchase by billions of dollars, but the suit was dismissed by a judge.

But analysts largely dismissed the viability of the Greenspan deal yesterday, saying that it would require non-Bancroft shareholders to bail out the Bancroft family shareholders for an indefinite period of time.